$2 Trillion will be Spent in Year 2020 “WTO” [Archives:2001/25/Business & Economy]

June 18 2001

Shams Tabrez
Director, Marketing GSA Continental Airlines,
One billion six million tourists in 2020 will spend $2 trillion, which is the vision of WTO (World Tourism Organization). The Madrid based WTO surveyed 85 of its National Tourism Authority members to come up with a blueprint for planning future travel marketing. The study called Tourism 2020 Vision, projects that the number of travelers will grow by 4.3% a year and spending by 6.7 % annually. Imagine, where will they all come from? Only 3.5% of the world’s population will actually do any international travel, the WTO estimates.
Sun-seeking Germans with long vacations will continue to be the most frequent travelers, with more than 160 million international journeys in 2020, up from about a million a year now.
The Japanese will edge out Americans, who are currently number two. Those three nationalities- Germans, Japanese and Americans- will make up 27% of all international leisure travelers according to the WTO study.
The survey acknowledges the devastating short-term impact of the Asian economic crisis on international tourism, which grew by only2.8% due to zero economic growth in Asia, but forecasts a recovery starting in early years of the new millennium.
Tourism 2020 Vision predicts a continued boom in theme parks and cruises offering a “condensed holiday product” enabling tourists to do a lot in a short period of time. According to the study, 42 new cruise vessels are being built with the biggest carrying up to 6,200 passengers each. Theme parks under construction range from a replica of Old Rome in Italy to the first Crocodile Theme Park-Jungle in the world, in of course Florida.
While the range of destinations and activities expands, airline options will shrink. The study predicts that barring major regulatory intervention or fighting among alliance partners by 2010, most passenger flights will take place on one of only three airline groups.
While trendy tourists will flock to China, Eastern Europe and the US in 2020, Western Europe especially, the over-crowded Mediterranean beaches that are the favorite holidays of the 1990s, will go out of fashion. In fact, Europe’s share of international tourists will fall 44.7% by 2020.
The Tourism 2020 Vision survey revealed similar strategic thinking national organizations around the world, who said they will be more aggressive in their marketing, with the private sector under less state control.
Specific findings include:
*90% of respondents plan to pursue cooperative marketing campaigns with the private sector.
*80% will increase international marketing activity.