From the headlines in the media you would think that we are all going to holiday and travel more this year. That’s not quite the truth because this headline applies to the world as a whole. Some parts of the world will holiday more, some won’t and some will stay the same. But you can’t get a catchy headline out of “Certain countries in the world will attract more tourist in 2010 proving a new pandemic, war, or disaster doesn’t happen.” You might just as well add “or if there is an X in the month.”
I haven’t seen one downbeat forecast yet. We are going to spend more time visiting our own countries, Spain will rebound, Turkey will continue its growth; Sri Lanka will have double-digit growth. You don’t see a report saying that Costa Lot is going to have 25% fewer of us visiting this year.
Everyone is positive. But this can’t be right. Not everywhere can have growth. But no-one wants to admit that.
So what you decide to do and where you decide to holiday will only have an impact at the end of the year when these same destinations will explain why you didn’t go to Costa Lot or Totally Boring by-the-Sea.
The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is the latest to have a stab at saying what we’ll be doing. They suggest a bounceback as well. They think that destinations in Europe suffered a 6% decline but that doesn’t apply to domestic holidays in the UK. That rose. The base their belief on that will holiday more on the fact that we are more confident about things now. I am not sure that is the answer. I think tourism is the chocolate factor. You holiday in order to have a break from the everyday problems. You have a bad time, you eat a chocolate bar. You have a bad three months, you have a holiday. Confidence only affects how much you spend on a holiday not whether you have one.
But I am talking generally. Some people won’t have a holiday at all. Some people will have lots of half days to surrounding attractions. That’s still a holiday.
It’s just that the forecasters aren’t very good at picking up on the small things that you and I do.