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Press Release

November 03, 2016

24th World Travel Monitor® Forum in Pisa: Tourism on growth path despite terror

Biggest rise in outbound travel from China and South Korea –Destination Asia has highest growth rates – ITB Berlin exclusively publishes latest results from the World Travel Monitor® in December

Pisa/Berlin, 3 November 2016 – Terror attacks and political unrest had no impact on the overall volume of worldwide outbound trips this year. The global travel industry remains on a growth path, and the number of outbound trips will probably increase by about 4 – 5 percent next year. These were the conclusions of Rolf Freitag, president of the tourism consultancy IPK International, today (Thursday) at the 24th World Travel Monitor® Forum in Pisa, Italy.

The number of worldwide outbound trips grew by 3.9 percent in the first eight months of this year, he said. China, with an increase of 18 percent in outbound trips and South Korea with an 11 percent rise, were among the key growth drivers. Results from IPK’s trend evaluation show declines in outbound trips from Russia with a 20 percent drop and from Brazil with a 15 percent fall.

Asia, which can celebrate a 9 percent rise in visitors in 2016, counts among the winners this year along with South America, which welcomed about 6 percent more guests from abroad. North America and the Caribbean each attracted 4 percent more travellers, while Europe showed an increase of 2.9 percent.

Political unrest or terror attacks did not affect the overall volume of foreign trips but certainly the choice of destination. “Destinations that were perceived as very dangerous lost millions of visitors, while countries with a positive safety image benefitted very heavily from this switch,” declared Rolf Freitag during the conference.

In terms of purpose of trip, holidays remain by far the largest segment of outbound trips and grew by 4 percent during the first eight months of 2016. The market shares of business trips as well as of visits to friends and relatives (VFR trips) and other private trips remained about the same. However, they showed divergent growth rates. The number of business trips rose by about 1 percent while VFR and other private trips went up by 9 percent.

The outlook for travel in 2017 is very positive, according to IPK International. The consultancy forecasts an increase in worldwide outbound trips of between 4 and 5 percent. IPK International sees particularly strong growth for outbound trips from Asia, with a likely rise of 6 percent, along with increases of about 5 percent for outbound trips from North, Central and South America and of 4 percent from Europe. The forecasts are based on IPK’s World Travel Confidence Index, which is compiled annually based on the views of the survey participants about their travel intentions for the coming 12 months.

At the annual World Travel Monitor® Forum in Pisa, initiated at the invitation of consultancy IPK International and supported by ITB Berlin, around 50 tourism experts and academics from around the world present the latest figures and current trends in international tourism.

Alongside special evaluations from IPK International’s World Travel Monitor®, ITB Berlin will publish further key data from the World Travel Monitor® as part of the ‘ITB World Travel Trends Report 2016/17’ (Link to last year’s ITB World Travel Trends Report 2015/2016 here: in early December. The ‘ITB World Travel Trends Report’ is based on the latest results and presentations at the World Travel Monitor® Forum, which is an exclusive meeting where current trends in the travel industry are discussed and predictions for tourism developments are made. The annual results of the World Travel Monitor®, which is the largest worldwide study on global travel behaviour, will be presented by IPK International at the ITB Future Day at the ITB Berlin Convention.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention

ITB Berlin 2017 will take place from Wednesday to Sunday, 8 to 12 March. From Wednesday to Friday ITB Berlin is open to trade visitors only. Parallel with the show the ITB Berlin Convention, the largest event of its kind, will be held from Wednesday, 8 to Saturday, 11 March 2017. More details are available at ITB Berlin is the global travel industry’s leading trade show. In 2016 over 10,000 companies and organisations from 187 countries exhibited their products and services to 180,000 visitors, who included 120,000 trade visitors.

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