Buyers’ buoyant, airlines apprehensive

Senior buyers in the tourism
industry believe that 2010 will perform better than 2009.

A survey undertaken by World Travel
Market of 659 Meridian Club members indicated that 60 per cent expected things
to be better this year. Thirty-three per cent thought that performance will be
equal to 2009 and six per cent said that the industry would show worse performance
than last year.

Seventy per cent of members polled
said that they believed that their company will perform better in 2010 and 27
per cent anticipated a similar result to 2009.

The Meridian Club is WTM’s business
club for senior buyers of the tourism industry.


Mark Jakobsen is the marketing
manager of Meridian Club and he said in a statement that the senior buyers’
expectations of a bounce-back were great news.

“The global financial downturn has
had a significant impact on a number of industries including travel and

“Consumer confidence is starting to
recover and Meridian Club members say this is reflected in bookings so far in
2010 and are confident this will continue throughout the year.”

However, the global gross domestic
product across the tourism industry shrank by 3.6 per cent during 2009,
according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.

A report by the International Air
Transport Association however showed that although passenger revenue improved
4.5 per cent in December 2009 compared to 2008, the proportion of seats filled
with paying customers was at 77.6 per cent. Overall, passenger demand was down
by 3.5 per cent in 2009 compared to the previous year.


Giovanni Bisignani, chief executive
of IATA, said that whilst North American and European carriers had seen demand
improvements in the first half of 2009, the rest of the year had been flat.

“In terms of demand, 2009 goes into
the history books as the worst year the industry has ever seen. We have
permanently lost 2.5 years of growth in passenger markets and 3.5 years of
growth in the freight business.”

The airline industry lost $11
billion globally in 2009 and $50 billion in total over the past ten years.

“These numbers are
really shocking. We’ve had a terrible 10 years. It would take at least three
years to recover the level of growth we have lost,” said Mr. Bisignani

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