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Global Travel Growth Expected to Continue in 2005

May 17, 2005

Global Travel Growth Expected to Continue in 2005
May 17, 2005 – Last month, the World Travel & Tourism Council released its 2005 travel and tourism forecasts for 174 countries, as well as an assessment of the impact of the Indian Ocean Tsunami on the industry.

According to the survey, a record robust recovery started in 2004 and should continue through 2005 at a healthy rate. It also reported that the December 2004 tsunami, which struck some tourism destinations around the Indian Ocean, had a significant, but limited, overall impact on the tourism economies.

Worldwide for 2005, WTTC is forecasting:

Demand: Investment, government spending and exports is expected to grow 5.4 percent and total $6.2 trillion in 2005.

Visitor Exports: The continued strength of the pound and euro against the US dollar, is expected to push visitor exports to nearly $820 billion in 2005 or real growth of 7.3 percent.

GDP: Travel and tourism’s contribution to the world economy is illustrated by the direct industry impact of 3.8 percent of total GDP.

Employment: The industry is expected to produce an impressive 2.1 million new jobs in 2005 over its 2004 level, to total 74.2 million jobs or 2.8 precent of total world employment.

"We turned the corner in 2004 and its full steam ahead for Travel & Tourism in many countries and regions around the world," comments Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC President. "Much of the pent up demand from three previous years of terrorism, war and health concerns has been released in a record level of travel and tourism demand."

Baumgarten also noted that the tsunami was perhaps the most tragic humanitarian crisis of our lifetime. "Fortunately we have seen a massive response from governments and industry to this tragedy. Although a number of travel and tourism destinations and businesses suffered significant loss, steps are well underway to restore these destinations and bring back the visitors. The key is to inform and educate potential visitors about what is open and available for business. The sooner visitors return to affected areas, the sooner these economies will recover."

"The total impact of the December tsunami on 2005 travel and tourism is expected to approach US$ 3 billion and cost more than one quarter millions jobs," adds Richard Miller, Executive Vice President of WTTC. "In most cases the jobs will be recovered as soon as traffic begins to return to the affected areas, but in the meantime the economies will continue to suffer."

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