Holidays are high on the spending hit list in times of austerity and the travel industry is under pressure.
For the third year running Europe’s biggest tourism fair, the ITB in Berlin, has seen declining numbers of exhibitors but they can take solace in an overall increase in tourism numbers.
Our correspondent covering the fair, Gianni Magi, said: “Here in Berlin, tourism supply meets tourism demand at this event where the industry is once again trying to confirm its dynamism.”
And despite the difficult economy, organiser David Ruetz told euronews that the industry is bouncing back: “In 2012, for the first time in the history of mobility, one billion travellers crossed borders; that is great news. And at ITB we see a lot of dynamics going on in the travel business.”
But social upheaval and political change continue to hit the tourism income of countries like Egypt which has seen its expected income from visitors fall by around two billion euros since the revolution there in early 2011.
Turkey says its tourism revenues remain strong, but the Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik admitted his country, and others in the region, are counting the cost of Syria’s civil war: “The situation in Syria has a negative effect on Turkey and also for Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, the entire region. All of what is happening there is having a negative effect on regional peace and tourism as well.”
So it is not all plain sailing, but something of a recovery for an industry that employs some 250 million people world wide.