Number of air passengers expected to double in 20 years to reach 7.3bn

According to The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the number of air passenger is expected to more than double within the next two decades, The Scotsman has reported.

In its first 20-year growth forecast, IATA said that nearly 3.3 billion passengers are forecast to travel this year, and the overall aviation market is set to grow by 4.1 per cent a year over the next two decades. IATA, the trade association for the world’s airlines representing nearly 240 global airlines, predicts that global passenger numbers would reach 7.3 billion by 2034.

By 2030, China is predicted to overtake the United States as the world’s largest passenger market, in terms of passengers travelling to, from and within the country, IATA said. IATA also predicts that India could overtake the UK to become the world’s third-largest air travel market in 2031.

While Asia-Pacific is expected to register annual growth rates of 4.9 per cent, Europe is set to have the slowest growth at 2.7 per cent and North America will have 3.3 per cent.

Tony Tyler, IATA’s director-general, said: ‘It is an exciting prospect to think that in the next 20 years more than twice as many passengers as today will have the chance to fly. Air connectivity on this scale will help transform economic opportunities for millions of people.’

‘By 2034, the aviation sector could support about 105 million jobs – against 58 million today – and contribute $6 trillion (£3.8tn) to the global economy,’ Tyler said, adding: ‘Air connectivity can only thrive when nations open their skies and markets. It’s a virtuous circle. Growing connectivity stimulates economies [which] demand greater connectivity.’

‘If aviation were a country, it would be amongst the top ten largest contributors to climate change on the planet,’ the report quoted Lang Banks, director of environmental campaign group WWF Scotland, as saying.

‘Despite all the promised efficiency gains, the growth in passenger numbers and flights predicted by the industry are totally incompatible with the need to curb emissions from this sector,’ Banks added.

 

Global tourism registers five percent growth, helped by Europe

Global tourism has grown by five percent in the first eight months of the year, hitting a record 747 million international tourist arrivals, Travel Weekly has reported, citing the latest figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Helped by strong results in Europe, Asia/Pacific and the Middle East, the 2013 figures were 38 million more than in the same period of 2012. Europe, registered a 5 percent growth, with an estimated 20 million more arrivals in the region.

Speaking at the opening of the European Tourism Forum in Vilnius, UNWTO secretary general, Taleb Rifai, said: ‘While global economic growth is in low gear, international tourism continues to produce above average results in most world regions, offering vital opportunities for employment and local economies.

‘This is particularly important for Europe, where unemployment is a major concern in many destinations and where the tourism sector has been a source of job growth in the last decade.

‘Furthermore, through its value chain, tourism creates businesses and jobs in many other sectors and produces significant export revenues which contribute favourably to the balance of payments in many countries.’

While the 100 million figure was exceeded for the first time in June, the peak summer months saw international arrivals exceed the 125 million mark in both July and August.

The largest international tourism earners saw receipts increase in double-digits, including Thailand at 27 percent, Hong Kong registering 25 percent, Turkey at 22 percent, Japan at 19 percent, the UK at 18 percent, Greece at 15 percent, India at 14 percent, Malaysia by 12 percent and the US by 11 percent.

Tourism spending was slower in the advanced economies, with Canada, the UK, France and the US registering less than 5 percent increase, Germany at zero percent increase, while Japan, Australia and Italy saw declines in expenditure.

The emerging economies are ahead in international tourism expenditure, with all BRIC countries except India, reporting double-digit growth, the report said.

 

World Tourism Day: a global celebration

World Tourism Day (September 27) is the most widely-celebrated global day for tourism. World Tourism Day has been held since 1980 and has been a United Nations “official day” since the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) became a UN specialized agency in 2003.
In 2011, World Tourism Day is being celebrated around the theme, “Tourism – Linking Cultures,” and will highlight tourism’s role in bringing the cultures of the world together and promoting global understanding through travel.

The official World Tourism Day celebrations will take place in Aswan, Egypt, and will include a High Level Think Tank on the 2011 theme.

Speakers include the Minister of Tourism of Egypt, Mounir Fakhi Abdel-Nour; UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai; the Minister for Culture and Tourism of Greece, Pavlos Yeroulanos; and the Chief Executive of TUI, Michael Frenzel.

All information on World Tourism day, including the official message of the Secretary-General in text and video may be found at: http://wtd.unwto.org/en .

PHOTO: East West Jubilation at Great Cattle Fair in Pushkar / Photo by Rabin Chakrabarti via unwto.org