Today, we launched our latest Research Report, Room for Optimism: 2018 Global Travel Market Outlook for our Skift Research subscribers. In the report, Skift Research provides its economic outlook for 2018 and what that means for the global travel industry by detailing key economic trends in the U.S. and globally. Almost 10 years after the financial crisis, the recovery has been slow and often uncertain and tumultuous. However, with the majority of indicators today looking quite positive, we believe we are finally on a solid growth trajectory into 2018.

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Most signs suggest there is room for optimism and that 2018 is setting up to be another solid year of macroeconomic growth. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently raised its forecast for 2018 with more growth expected in emerging and developing markets, where income levels are rising, technology adoption is increasing, infrastructure and accessibility are improving, businesses are seeking more international collaboration, and economies are shifting to be more services-based.

In the U.S., the consumer looks strong with consumer confidence at an all-time high, low unemployment, solid jobs growth, and sustained low interest rates. While key corporate indicators are positive and probabilities of recession remain low, policy uncertainty seems to be holding U.S. businesses back from incrementally spending more on travel, as they wait to see how potential policy changes will impact their organizations. Nevertheless, we expect growth in the U.S. should be “steady as she goes” in 2018 and believe potential corporate tax cuts should encourage businesses to invest more, employ more, and travel more.

Travel is a powerful driver of economic growth. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), tourism currently generates approximately 10 percent of the world’s GDP, makes up one in every 10 jobs, accounts for 30 percent of world trade in services, and drives $1.4 trillion in exports. With increasing globalization, international digital and social connectivity, and easily accessible methods of travel, it is easier than ever before for leisure travelers to jet set to somewhere new and for business professionals to get to that important meeting.

While we worry about the rise of nationalism in certain parts of the world, we expect local and national governments and other organizing bodies to maintain and strengthen accommodative policies that support tourism growth in a sustainable way in the long run. Policy uncertainty and geopolitical tensions can’t be ignored, but outside of any major shock, we expect travel to benefit from a solid year of macroeconomic growth in 2018.

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The report will provide readers with key economic data points that are top of mind for Skift Research as we head into 2018 and should help frame decision making and provide context for company, sector, and unique industry trends. We provide market sizing data for the tourism and travel industry today, detail global growth expectations, and provide forecasts for the hotel, airline, and cruise industries. We are keenly aware of the potential risk of negative geopolitical events that could take a toll on travel spend next year, but outside of any major shock, the overall outlook for 2018 seems solid.

What You’ll Learn From This Report

  • Sizing data for the tourism and travel industry today
  • Global economic growth forecasts
  • U.S. consumer and corporate economic expectations
  • International economic trends for key regions and countries
  • A discussion of U.S. and global policy uncertainty
  • Business travel spend expectations
  • Sales, earnings, and key metrics growth estimates for the hotel, airline, and cruise industries
  • Key items of focus that could positively and negatively impact economic growth in 2018

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This is the latest in a series of monthly reports, data sheets, and analyst calls aimed at analyzing the fault lines of disruption in travel. These reports are intended for the busy travel industry decision-maker. Tap into the opinions and insights of our seasoned network of staffers and contributors. Over 200 hours of desk research, interviews, data collection, and/or analysis goes into each report.

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