Skift Take

Will there be a recession next year? That seems to be the question on everyone's minds. But the fundamental data and industry management teams tell a story of greater strength heading into next year. Headwinds are rising, but on balance, we expect “steady-as-she-goes” growth.

All in all, 2018 has turned out to be a very healthy year of growth for travel in both advanced economies and emerging and developing markets. International arrivals are likely to reach an all-time high of around 1.4 billion. Consumer demand has been solid, and U.S. corporations saw one of the strongest years in profit growth since the last recession.

So on the back of a better than expected 2018, what does next year have in store for travel? In our latest report, The Skift Global Travel Economy Outlook 2019, we analyze the macroeconomic data and pair it with with industry- and company-specific details to build our initial view of 2019.

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Looking ahead to 2019, we expect another strong year of economic growth which should bode well for travel. Advanced economies should remain stable, and emerging and developing markets are still seeing incredibly strong growth, albeit with some at decelerating rates. Nevertheless, recent stock market volatility and political uncertainty could weigh on consumer and corporate confidence. And U.S. trade tariffs, rising U.S. interest rates, a stronger U.S. dollar, rising budget deficits globally, and increasing protectionism could all pose headwinds in 2019.

Given that we are 10 years into this economic expansion, it’s possible some may begin to ask, “Have we reached the top?” In our view, recessions are not caused by age of the economic cycle alone and, therefore, so long as key indicators remain positive and a negative shock to the global economic system doesn’t occur, we should be in for another solid year of economic growth and travel.

Other key areas of focus for us in 2019: Technological investment, how well travel companies are using technology to improve their back-office operations while enhancing overall guest experiences; Sustainable tourism, how destinations are using travel to help their economies grow; and Emerging markets, how consumers and corporates are looking to new markets as places to which they should travel or expand operations or investment.

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What You’ll Learn from This Report:

  • Global economic growth forecasts.
  • Sales, earnings, and key metrics growth estimates for the hotel, airline, cruise, and online distribution industries.
  • Expectations for international arrivals, tourism’s contribution to economic growth expectations, and business travel spend.
  • U.S. consumer and corporate economic and travel expectations.
  • International economic growth expectations for key regions and countries.
  • A discussion of U.S. and global policy uncertainty.

Subscribe to Skift Research Reports

This is the latest in a series of monthly reports 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, data collection, and/or analysis goes into each report.

After you subscribe, you will gain access to our entire vault of reports conducted on topics ranging from technology to marketing strategy to deep dives on key travel brands. Reports are available online in a responsive design format, or you can also buy each report a la carte at a higher price.

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