Global tourism predicted to slow after best year ever

The World Travel and Tourism Council says it has seen a recovery in markets such as Africa. Above, a man walks on the land at Ha Mampho village, Lesotho. (AP)
Updated 22 March 2018
0

Global tourism predicted to slow after best year ever

LONDON: The travel and tourism sector is set for a modest slowdown in 2018 as a result of higher oil prices and airfares, a year after it experienced its best year on record, according to a leading global industry body.
In its annual Economic Impact Report, the World Travel and Tourism Council said Thursday that the sector was responsible for the creation of 7 million new jobs worldwide in 2017, or one in five new jobs.
That was due largely to the fact that the sector outperformed the global economy for the seventh year running, growing by 4.6 percent against 3 percent. The sector, according to the organization, outperformed all others.
“2017 was the best year on record for the travel & tourism sector,” said Gloria Guevara, president and CEO of the WTTC. “We have seen increased spending as a result of growing consumer confidence, both domestically and internationally, recovery in markets in North Africa and Europe previously impacted by terrorism and continued outbound growth from China and India.”
Though the WTTC forecasts 2018 growth of 4 percent as a result of higher oil prices and airfares as well as expectations of rising interest rates in countries such as the US and the UK, it kept its long-term forecasts unchanged, with average annual growth of 3.8 percent over the next decade. By then, it expects the sector to support more than 400 million jobs globally, or one in nine of all jobs.
“As our sector continues to become more important both as a generator of GDP and jobs, our key challenge will be ensuring this growth is sustainable and inclusive,” Guevara said. “Already in 2017, we have begun to see a backlash against tourism in some key destinations.”
So-called overtourism is imperiling cherished buildings, straining infrastructure and harming the experience of travelers and local residents alike. Tourism-phobia has become increasingly prevalent, particularly in European destinations such as Barcelona and Venice, where visitors crowd the same places at the same time. The WTTC is involved in efforts to spread tourists around destinations and smooth out demand over time.
Oxford Economics helped in the compilation of the report, which covers 185 countries.


Renault sales growth falters on Asia setbacks

Updated 12 sec ago
0

Renault sales growth falters on Asia setbacks

PARIS: Renault said revenue rose by a smaller-than-expected 0.2 percent in the first quarter, as the French carmaker suffered sales setbacks in India, China and South Korea, compounded by the effects of a stronger euro.
Revenue advanced to €13.16 billion, Renault said on Friday, well short of the €13.77 billion expected by analysts, according to an Inquiry Financial poll.
Sales in key growth markets showed a “mixed situation” in the quarter, added the French company.
While Europe and Russia showed solid gains, a spokeswoman said, sales tumbled almost one-third in the price-sensitive Indian market, where the Kwid mini-SUV’s early success has given way to rapid decline and the larger Captur subcompact is struggling to make inroads.
China registrations fell 16.8 percent amid a continuing slump in sales for the recently consolidated Jinbei and Huasong commercial vehicle brands, acquired through a joint venture with Chinese carmaker Brilliance.
Sales by South Korean unit Renault Samsung Motors fell more than a quarter.
The stronger euro cut automotive revenue by 4.8 percent or €575 million, weakening the value of overseas sales. The overall increase in sales volume contributed €275 million to revenue growth, and pricing improvements another €140 million.
Renault reiterated its 2018 market outlook and earnings guidance.