The Year That Was – And The Year To Come

Highlights of IPK International’s presentation at ITB Berlin, March 8, 2017

DESPITE TERROR AND UNREST, TOURISM CONTINUED TO GROW
Political unrest and terror attacks yet again dominated the headlines in a number of important destination countries in the last year, such as Turkey and France, which at times led to travellers staying away in droves. However, this did not result in a breakdown in global travel as people around the world kept travelling more than ever before in 2016. Worldwide, the number of outbound trips has increased by 4%, reaching nearly 1.1 billion international trips according to the latest results of IPK’s World Travel Monitor, an annual survey analysing the outbound travel behaviour in more than 60 countries worldwide, which covers more than 90% of the global outbound demand.

Worldwide, the number of outbound trips has increased by 4%, reaching nearly 1.1 billion international trips according to the latest results of IPK’s World Travel Monitor

ASIA DRIVES GLOBAL OUTBOUND GROWTH WHILE SPAIN TAKES THE LEAD IN DESTINATIONS
Asia remains the number one source market region for growth in international travel with an overall increase of 9% compared to the previous year, followed by South America with 5%. Outbound trips from North America and Europe both grew by 3%. In absolute terms however, Europe prevails as the number one source market with more than half of the outbound travel volume worldwide. Yet when it comes to inbound tourism, Spain outperformed the US as the number one travel destination in 2016 while Germany is still on third place. Italy and France follow on fourth and fifth place.

CITY TRIPS ARE THE FASTEST GROWING HOLIDAY MARKET SEGMENT
While Sun & Beach holidays are still the number one holiday type with a market share of 28% of all outbound holidays, city trips have been catching up over the past five years and have now reached a share of 26% in 2016. “Although cities have been impacted by some terror attacks, city trips still are a real boom business all around the world”, explained Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International, during his presentation on the occasion of ITB Berlin’s Future Day 2017. After Sun & Beach Holidays and City Trips, Touring follows third with a steady market share of 19%.

TRAVEL BEHAVIOUR STILL INFLUENCED BY TERROR FEAR
For the third time, IPK International conducted a special survey on this topic in 21 main source markets worldwide in February 2017. The study revealed that for 45% of international travellers the recent instability and terror warnings will have an influence on their travel plans for 2017. This is a 6-percentage point’s increase compared to February 2016. However, the survey exhibits regional differences between source markets in Europe, Asia, North and South America. Regarding the question what kind of influence the current situation could have on the travel behaviour, 16% of international travellers indicated that they will not travel abroad in 2017 or will only go on domestic trips within their own country. A further 29% stated that they will still be traveling abroad, yet only to destinations they perceive as “safe”. For some destinations, the situation regarding safety has even deteriorated compared to the previous year. For example, while in February last year 64% of the respondents perceived Turkey as “unsafe”, in February 2017 this figure has further accelerated to 76%. Hence, shifts from “unsafe” to “safe” destinations will further continue in 2017.

OUTLOOK 2017

Although the threat of terror prevails, IPK International anticipates global outbound trips to increase by robust 4% in 2017. According to IPK International’s Outbound Travel Forecast for 2017, Asian outbound travel is once again expected to be the main growth driver with an increase of 5%, but also North America (+5%) can expect a strong outbound travel year, while international travel of Europeans and South Americans is expected to continuously show a moderate growth (both +3%).