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Global tourism GDP resilient this year

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Staff Writer | August 23, 2016
Global tourism GDP
Tourists   The sector is expected to grow by 3.1%

Travel and tourism will contribute less than previously forecast to the economies of France, Turkey and Brazil, though globally the sector is resilient, the World Travel and Tourism Council said.

Brazil is hosting the Olympic Games this year but its travel and tourism sector has suffered under a political crisis, its worst recession since the 1930s, and the Zika virus.

The sector's contribution to Brazil's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to shrink by 1.6% this year, against a previous forecast for a drop of 0.9%, the WTTC said.

Islamist militant attacks in Paris, Brussels and Nice have resulted in lower demand for travel to Europe. In France, the travel and tourism sector's contribution to GDP will grow 1.1% this year, down from a previous forecast of 2.9%.

The number of foreign tourists fell sharply in France in the second quarter of the year, official data showed on Friday. In France, the sector contributed 80.4 billion euros ($90.9 billion), or 3.7% of total GDP, in 2015.

A series of militant bombings in Turkey and a failed coup have also deterred tourists, and the sector's contribution to GDP there will shrink by 3.2% this year, sharply lower than a previously forecast drop of 0.2%.

Overall, however, the global travel and tourism sector is expected to grow by 3.1% in 2016, faster than predicted global GDP growth of 2.3%, driven by increasing numbers of travellers from Asian countries, especially China and India.

He said that despite security concerns, people were still travelling but had shifted destinations. Asian travellers were tending to choose Australia for vacations this year instead of Europe, for example.

Brazil's Olympic Games, which ended on Sunday, should help to boost demand for travel there next year, Mr Scowsill said, although he said Brazil had to deal with its economic problems.

In 2015, the direct contribution of the sector to Brazil's GDP was 190.5 billion Brazilian reais ($59.5 billion), equivalent to 3.3% of total GDP, the WTTC said.

The fall in sterling as a result of Britain's vote to leave the European Union should boost demand for trips to Britain over the next six to eight months.


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