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Economic Downturn Does Not Scare Older Brits

Older generation will continue to travel despite downturn, but industry is more fearful than optimistic

Nelson Alcantara  Nov 09, 2010

LONDON (eTN) – According to a report released today at this year’s World Travel Market, Brits aged 45 and older are the least likely to rethink their vacation plans because of the financial crisis.

The report revealed that a nationally representative sample of 1200 Brits, each of whom took a summer holiday this year, found that 69% of the 65+ age group admitted the economic uncertainly had had no impact on their plans this year. The same percentage of the 55-64 year-olds claimed to be unaffected, with 59% of 45- 54 year-olds unconcerned.

Further, these three age groups are least likely to change their plans because of the economy. Across all age groups, 54% said their plans had not changed.

The report also revealed that the recently increased Air Passenger Duty will not deter on the over-45s, with ore than 60% said the increased UK departure tax would not impact their plans compared with the sample of average 56%.

However, the World Travel Market 2010 Industry Report has identified medium-term demand and profit concerns. World Travel Market Chairman Fiona Jeffery said: “The global financial slowdown has had a dramatic impact so far, and remains the largest and most consistent worry for the global industry over the next five years. It is clear that the concern runs deep, with many worried about what will happen to the demand, with a similar number concerned about what happens to their bottom line.”

Research shows that the travel and tourism industry fears it will take at least a further five years to recover from the global financial downturn. The impact of the global financial downturn on demand, price and profitability in the industry over the next five years is the industry’s biggest fear with more than half (56.6%) highlighting it as the industry’s biggest issue, according to the poll of 1,200 senior industry executives.

According to the WTM report, demand factors are the primary concern for 31.3%, with 25.3% specifying the downturn’s negative influence on price, profits and margins, reveals the poll released at World Travel Market today (Monday November 8).

“A more general question showed concerns about the slowdown are more widespread. More than half (51.5%) had demand issues related to the slowdown, with a similar number (48.8%) fearing the impact on price, margins and profits. Multiple responses to the general question were possible and showed that indirect consequences of the slowdown are also a concern. More than 40% expressed concern about exchange rates with 25.7% worried about oil prices, although only 12% and 4% respectively identified these as the biggest single issue.”

The report also revealed that downturn’s impact on the travel and tourism industry over the past twelve months was identified as a negative influence by more than three-quarters of the sample – 78.4%, saying it had hampered demand, with 76.9% feeling the effect on prices profits and margins. More than half (56.8%) said that exchange rates had also been a concern over the same period.

Older generation will continue to travel despite downturn, but industry is more fearful than optimistic
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