There can be no doubt whatsoever that 2017 was an atypical year for the travel industry. Between setbacks such as terrorist attacks, natural disasters, crises and overtourism, the travel industry marched at its own pace which produced unexpected growth figures both in Brazil as well as in the rest of the world.
As if it were being fuelled by its own energy source, the travel industry grew faster in 2017 than it had done for a number of years, according to the ITB World Travel Trend Report. Travellers from all over the world (more precisely 901 million from January to August 2017, according to UNWTO) made more international trips during the first eight months of the year than they had ever done before, with a result that there was a 6% growth in international travel, according to IPK’s World Travel Monitor.
The increase in the number of travellers from Latin America which registered a 5% growth, exceeding all the forecasts and bringing it closer to the global growth percentage. According to UNWTO, there was also an increase in the number of international arrivals in South America, which posted a 7% growth, the highest figure observed in the Americas.
The forecast for this year is that Latin America’s positive growth will continue in 2018. With a promising outlook, IPK’s Travel Confidence Index is predicting a 6% growth in outbound travel in Latin America, while the forecast for outbound travel at the global level is one of 5%.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that passenger demand for the year 2017 showed a 7.6% increase vis-à-vis 2016, which was well above the average annual growth rate of the last 10 years. In Latin America, airline traffic showed a 9.3% growth last year, which was the highest figure since 2011.
Also showing signs of recovery according to IATA, Brazilian domestic traffic resumed positive growth last year, with a 3.5%, increase in demand, after having registered a 5.5% drop in 2016.
The forecasts for Brazilian tourism are also optimistic for the year 2018, as signs of recovery have been observed not just in the air traffic figures but also in other parts of the sector.
Brazilians are travelling more and, in particular, are spending more abroad, driving the global economy. Brazil achieved a 33% growth in international travel expenses in 2017, according to the figures from the Central Bank.
A combined analysis of the tourism movement in Brazil and Latin America enables us to observe a positive trend scenario, which results in the sector’s evolution at the global level. And this is the industry outlook that will host WTM Latin America, between April 3rd and April 5th, in the city of São Paulo.
Despite being linked to various other parts of the economy, namely the environment, health and safety, and notwithstanding being extremely susceptible to events and setbacks, the travel industry has transformed its variability into flexibility, maintaining its own pace of development and also taking its place as one of the main drivers of the global economy.