Almost half of travel industry experts expect people to travel more this year.
A survey conducted at the 11th annual Barclays Travel Forum, held earlier this week in London, found 40% expressing confidence in more travel, with 15% anticipating a reduction.
The longer term outlook appears even stronger, with 52% expecting an increase in 2017, compared to just 8% predicting a fall.
When considering their own businesses the picture is more positive, with two-thirds (67%) describing themselves as confident in the outlook for 2016, rising to 87% for 2017.
Growth expectations are also strong, with 83% expecting their business to grow this year, increasing to 95% in 2017.
Security issues emerged as the primary worry (50%), with limited accommodation during peak periods in ‘safe’ destinations anticipated to account for the greatest price increase to holidays this year by 56% of respondents.
When asked which locations would see the greatest increase in tourism this year, Asia came top (38%) followed by Europe (30%). This result was supported by comments from industry experts at the event, who identified south-east Asia and the Mediterranean as hotspots for 2016.
In line with the popularity of Asian holidays, long-haul/tailor-made trips were chosen by almost half as the sector with the greatest growth potential this year (45%).
But there were also encouraging signs for UK operators, with 82% of respondents expecting an increase in demand for domestic holidays this year.
The event brought together more than 250 leading travel experts to discuss the key issues affecting the industry and assess the prospects for the sector in 2016 and beyond.
Barclays’ head of travel, Chris Lee, said: “It’s reassuring to once again see this level of confidence in the industry, both in terms of prospects for this year and in the longer term.
“It’s no surprise to hear such optimism from our attendees, and is testament to the hard work they and their many thousands of employees put in to make sure the British public keep putting travel at the top of their wishlist.
“At a time when there is uncertainty in some other parts of the economy, the travel industry continues to trade strongly and post impressive results.
“This is made possible in no small part by the ever-improving customer service UK travel companies deliver, ensuring that their customers have the best experience they can from the moment they book right through to when they return home.”
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