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December 16, 2014

ITB World Travel Trends Report Reveals Increase for North America

The ITB World Travel Trends Report, conducted by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin, found that the economic situation in the United States and Canada is improving, and also saw a renewed increase in foreign trips in 2014. At the same time the weaker-performing economies of Brazil and Argentina have led to slower growth in tourism in South America. 

This year, the foreign travel markets of North America reported a growth rate of five percent. People in North America travelled more often than last year and stayed longer at their destinations, with stays of more than four overnights increasing by eight per cent. Accordingly, spending on foreign trips rose significantly, by 19 percent. At plus six percent, holiday travel was among the market’s driving forces, while the number of business trips rose by only four percent. As a trend, holidays focused more on individual travel, local destinations and authentic experiences, resulting in high demand for custom travel packages. Despite rising GDPs and lower unemployment the forecast for next year is less positive: In 2015, trips abroad by people in North America will most likely increase by only three percent.

By contrast, South America was unable to maintain its above-average growth rates of recent years. During the first eight months of 2014, the region registered five percent growth. However, this fell short of the increases between 2009 and 2013 which, at times, were in double digits. Economic insecurity in South America, particularly in Brazil and Argentina, has led to this decline in the growth rate in foreign travel. At plus three percent, the IPK Travel Confidence Index also forecasts slower growth in foreign travel for South America in 2015. This marks a continuation of the current trend.

With the FIFA World Cup taking place in Brazil, 2014 was naturally a strong year in terms of tourism arrivals in South America. During the first eight months, the number of international arrivals rose by seven percent, considerably more than during the same period last year (+2.5 percent). People from Argentina, Chile and Colombia traveling to the World Cup accounted for a large part of this figure. During the event South America’s largest country welcomed a total of around one million foreign visitors. Holiday spending averaged around $2,000 per trip. Fifty-five percent of visitors stayed between four and 15 nights and took the opportunity to get to know the country. Seventy-eight percent said they would like to visit it again.

Other results of the January to August 2014 trend surveys conducted by IPK as well as the assessments of more than 50 tourism experts from over 20 countries and the core data of the World Travel Monitor will be published exclusively by ITB Berlin. Read the ITB World Travel Trends Report here

At the ITB Future Day of the ITB Berlin Convention, Rolf Freitag, president of IPK International, will present the findings of the World Travel Monitor for the entire year, as well as the latest forecasts for 2015.

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