Success in 2016 for many tourism will be based on making adjustments to mega events while keeping on a course that continues to ride with trends. I’ve compiled a list of my own views on what tourism businesses and destinations can be looking at for 2016.
The mega events are:
- Currency exchange rates – the strong USD is pummeling the number of Canadian visits to the U.S. with latest figures showing continued year on year drops starting mid 2014. But, international visits to the U.S. are showing a continued rise that started in 2010 and continued apace with minor ticks along the way. See Raw Data published Jan 2016. For Canada inbound, the chart for 2015 shows that the weak Canadian dollar is having a generally positive effect on arrivals. And, for Australia, visits have risen for 2015, but there have been some individual decreases from key markets.
- Crisis in the middle east – while the human tragedy continues and the ongoing terrorist threats appear to keep rippling upward, visitors stats show a different picture than you might expect in the Mediterranean. Greece expects to have a record year for tourists in 2016 and records from Turkey are showing a rising trend in arrivals for the year ending 2015. Stats for all Europe can be found here.
- The zika virus scare in central and south America has been reported widely and various entities have taken action to advise visitors of best strategies to avoid infection. An article in the Travel Section of the New York Times reports on the reaction so far.
- The effect of world price of oil on tourism is a concern that many people have. Research reports on the linkage of tourism and oil prices have focused primarily on rising, not falling, oil prices and largely base their hypotheses on a steady rise in the cost of oil. There is no simple answer to this question it turns out though. Tourist’s travel habits and choices are made from a complex mix of reasons. There is a study from New Zealand that looks at how oil prices may affect global tourism that helps shed some light.