Skift Global Travel Economy Outlook 2019

by Rebecca Stone and Seth Borko + Skift Team - Dec 2018

Skift Research Take

As we wrap up 2018, our latest Skift Research report dives into what went well this year and what we can expect heading into 2019. Looking ahead, we expect another strong year of economic growth, with a few different puts and takes, which should translate well for the travel industry.

Report Overview

All in all, 2018 has turned out to be a very healthy year of growth 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. corporates saw one of the strongest years in profit growth since the last recession. 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.

What You'll Learn From This Report

  • Global economic growth forecasts
  • 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
  • Expectations for international arrivals, tourism’s contribution to economic growth expectations, and business travel spend
  • Sales, earnings, and key metrics growth estimates for the hotel, airline, cruise, and online distribution industries
  • Key items of focus that could positively and negatively impact growth in 2019
  • Sizing data for the tourism and travel industry today