Travel trends for 2018

 

Euromonitor has crunched the numbers to give us an insight into the travel trends to expect in 2018.

Euromonitor International says that travel and tourism continues to remain on track for 2018, outperforming the global economy, with arrivals set to grow by 3.7% and inbound receipts at a stronger rate of 4.1% over 2017, compared to world GDP at 3.5%.

Pricing pressure will remain in the near term as there are major uncertainties buffeting the world economy, namely the rocky Trump administration, Brexit, as well as the flaring up of regional tensions across the world with a stand-off looming with North Korea and Japan, and the United States.

By 2022, China will be the world’s largest source of outbound tourism demand, with 128 million trips, overtaking the US as the country with the highest propensity for travel abroad. Growth is set to be very strong, at 8.4% over the period 2017-2022. Outside of Asia, the US and France are likely to benefit the most, due to their China-ready approach.

China is already the largest source of tourism expenditure, growing by 10.9% over 2017-2022, driven predominantly by GDP per capita, and the rise in middle-class households.

Japan saw the strongest increase in China arrivals growth over 2013-2017, amounting to an additional six million Chinese arrivals thanks to simplifying the visa process and the weak yen.

Due to mounting tensions with China and the travel ban, where the Chinese government is restricting tour groups to South Korea, Chinese arrivals to the country fell 39% in 2017. Worsening relations with Taiwan has also led to a decline.

Luxury categories are benefiting from consumers trading up from mid-market brands to luxury, whilst growth in budget remains popular but doesn’t bring vast returns. Budget players are faced with the challenge from consumers increasingly demanding a premium service at a lower price bracket. Luxury offers must constantly update to keep ahead of consumers’ expectations.

The largest travel brands worldwide are Ctrip and Booking.com, with Ctrip towering over all its rivals with sales of USD60 billion, compared to Booking.com’s USD33 billion in 2017.

Euromonitor has predictions for spa travel and medical tourism. US$ billions (using the US definition of billions rather than the UK one):

  • Medical tourism revenue 2017 - 15 billion and by 2022 - 20 billion
  • Spa tourism revenue 2017 - 40 billion and by 2022  - 50 billion

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