By Adrian Bishop
A large increase is set for both leisure and business travel in 2018, a new survey suggests.
A third of respondents to a survey by airport shuttle provider, Go Group, plan to increase leisure travel in 2018 and more than a quarter (27%) aim to travel more for business compared with 2017.
When the same survey was conducted a year ago, 21% said they aimed to increase leisure travel and 15% to boost business trips.
John McCarthy, president of The GO Group, says, “Based on the statistics, the potential increase in business and leisure travel should have a huge impact on airlines, hotels and related industries.
"The travel and tourism industry creates jobs and generates global prosperity so this is really positive news."
Just 5% plan to travel less for leisure, one-third to maintain their present level and 27% are unsure, the 2018 survey found, which questioned more than 240 people.
When it comes to business travel, 6% say they will journey less frequently, 27% stay the same and 39% are unsure.
The GO Group LLC transports more than 13 million passengers per year around the world and is the largest airport transportation provider in the United States. It provides shared rides, private vehicles, charters and tours, serving some 90 airports in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Australia and Europe.
Meanwhile, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) says London generates more spend from international visitors than any other city in Europe.
In 2016, international visitors spent around €18.9 billion in London, more than in any other city in Europe. Visitors from within the UK spent a further €2.94 billion.
Overall, London’s Travel & Tourism sector directly employs 228,000 jobs and accounts for nearly 19% of the UK’s in Travel & Tourism earnings.
Other cities that top international spend in Europe are Istanbul (€17.5 billion), Barcelona (€13.6 billion), Amsterdam (€11.8 billion) and Paris (€10.4 billion).
The WTTC Europe City Travel & Tourism Impact report covers 65 cities, 17 of which are in Europe.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC’s President & CEO said “London is a truly international city and the London is Open campaign has given a very strong message of welcome to tourists from abroad, which, with a great offering and unique experiences for tourists, means the UK’s capital has gained the top spot when it comes to international tourism to cities in Europe.
“Uncertainty around Brexit and the impacts of terrorism will put pressure on the city’s tourism sector in 2017, however our data suggests that London is well placed to be resilient against these challenges.
“We expect international tourism spend to increase by 7% every year over the next ten years.”
Tourism levels at Paris and Brussels have bounced back following earlier terror incidents, the report says. Following attacks in January and November 2015, international arrivals to Paris fell 8%. However, forecasts suggest that tourism’s contribution is set to rise and return to 4% of the city’s GDP in the coming years.
Brussels experienced a 17% fall in international tourism following the attack in March 2016, however visitor numbers grew at double the rate of Belgium’s over the past 10 years (2.1% per year, compared to 1.1% for Belgium), and is forecast to continue to grow at a rate of 7.3% per year over the next decade.
Antalya and Istanbul, both impacted by terrorism and political instability in Turkey, are expected to grow at 8.6% and 9.8% over the next decade, faster than any other European cities.