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World Leisure, Tourism & Travel Sectors: Market Reports & Studies

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Global Tourism and Leisure Industry

Over recent years, the economic recession slowed the industry worldwide as consumers put off holidays due to falling disposable income. Companies operating in the tourism and leisure sector face other challenges as well, such as rising oil prices pushing up air travel costs. Consumers are also more environmentally conscious today, cutting down on flights to reduce their carbon footprint. Other modes of transport – like rail, road, and sea –pose less of an obstacle for eco-friendly travelers.

The tourism industry is particularly healthy in many islands and countries with warm climates, which helps boost the gross domestic product of certain regions. Manmade and natural tourist attractions are increasingly in demand as income levels rise, allowing consumers to choose from a greater array of holiday choices. Similarly, populations living in urbanized areas and working in office environments are devoting larger portions of their disposable income to free-time activities. 

Sub-sectors of the tourism market include travel services, passenger transportation, and food services.

Tourism Sector's Regional Markets

In the US leisure led the industry, representing almost three-quarters of the overall market. 

France’s travel and tourism market is recovering well after the negative impact of the economic recession.

The Chinese tourism industry is recording strong growth as both domestic and overseas demand is fuelled by government policies, a growing economy, and higher purchasing power. RNCOS stresses the role of the inbound travel market in China, which has expanded to encompass domestic and outbound travel. State measures to encourage tourism include less-strict VISA parameters and granting Approved Destination Status. Online tourism continues to rise, with medical tourism also recording strong growth. Trends also show that wine & rural tourism and the MICE (Meetings, Incentive, Convention, and Exhibitions) market are all proving popular in China. BRIC Data notes China is the third most popular tourist destination in the world, after the US and France. 

According to Research in China, between the first and second fiscal quarters of 2011 almost 535 hotels were opened in China, a near 7% increase in hotels, adding over 630,000 guest rooms to the market, an 8% increase in one quarter. Budget hotels in China include Motel 168, 7Days Inn, Shindom Inn, Green Tree Inn Chain, Ibis Hotel, Holiday Inn Express, Orange Hotel, Hotel Home, Vienna Hotel, Huatian Inn, Super 8 Hotel, Grace Inn and Holiday Star Hotel.

The UK’s tourism industry, which employs over 1.3 million people, has an estimated value of $133 billion, according to a joint report from VisitBritain.

RNCOS forecasts that India will record strong growth in tourist arrivals over the coming years. Market expansion will be bolstered by state initiatives.

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