Here at Bedouk Meetings & Events Media, we like to be prepared for everything. So we have compiled a business travel forecast for 2012, including a list of this year’s most worthy destinations.
Overall the travel industry is expected to pick up from last year, domestically as well as internationally. Despite rising airfare and accommodation rates (big surprise there!) people around the world will surely be traveling more than they did last year.
While uncertainty remains in most of the West, the Asia Pacific region has clear skies for 2012. The December 2011 edition of the ITB World Travel Trends Report proves that the Asia Pacific region grew over 5% in 2011 as a destination, and is expected to grow at least 5% more in 2012. In terms of outbound travel, the Asia Pacific region is one of the main drivers of the international travel industry.
In Asia, the rising middle class will add significant numbers to travel in 2012. They are spending more too, thanks to greater salaries. The emergence of low-cost Asian airlines, and their connections with international airlines, has been another major factor in the rise of outbound travel. Specifically after Japan’s natural disasters in 2011, and the resulting stress surrounding the situations, it is said that many citizens have a changed mindset and lifestyle, which have motivated both travel and spending. The ITB Report predicts a 4% increase in Japanese outbound travel for 2012.
But Europe is not totally out of the picture. Markets have simply shifted. According to the ITB World Travel Trends Report, Spain, Portugal, Croatia and Turkey have enjoyed the greatest growth as destinations within Europe. For 2012, experts assume this growth will continue. Outbound travel will persist as well. Approximately 64% of Europeans say crises will not affect their travel plans. Similarly, experts predict moderate growth in the number of outbound trips, around 5% at the most.
Countries such as India and China were some of those less affected by last year’s drama. These emerging travel destinations will see continued growth throughout 2012.
The same goes for South America. For inbound and outbound travel, the continent was strong in 2011, with a 13% jump in international tourists welcomed, and shows signs for continual growth in the coming year.
A destination’s popularity is no sure thing. Plus, much has changed in the past year, including the world’s hottest places for business travel. The following highly anticipated destinations are among Bedouk’s favorites for 2012:
Denmark. After years of working to achieve perfection in their meeting infrastructure, Denmark’s MINDblowing Meetings campaign has officially been launched. MIND is an acronym for “Meetovation in Denmark” and has aimed to boost every event’s return on meeting investment value. www.visitdenmark.com/uk/en-gb/menu/presse/nyheder/news-business-events/mindblowing-meetings-launched-at-eibtm.htm
Seoul. Having hosted of over 90% of the events it has bid for, the city of Seoul has raked in over 1 trillion won (over 1 billion USD) from events in the MICE industry. Seoul has been named the 5th most popular global convention city and its international profile is only expanding.www.ibtimes.com/prnews/20111212/seoul-convention-bureau-worldwide-city.htm
Vietnam. As part of the Mekong Tourism Initiative, Vietnam draws in over 5 million international travelers annually. This is hardly surprising since the entire country is celebrated for its stunning mountain scenery and rich history. www.vietnamtourism.com/
To read the entire ITB World Travel Trends Report, visit www.itb-berlin.de/media/itbk/itbk_media/itbk_pdf/WTTR_Report_komplett_web.pdf.