Oman Air puts up strong show at ITB
Muscat, March 22, 2009
The Oman Air stand at ITB Berlin, one of the world’s largest travel fairs, successfully displayed the true essence of Oman, and played a key role in reflecting the country's flourishing tourism industry.
“Not only did the ITB Berlin create greater interest in our country on the German market, it also made us the focus of increased international attention,” said Usama Bin Karim Al Haremi, head of corporate communications and media of Oman Air.
Al Haremi also highlighted on the World Travel Trends Update released by IPK International at the ITB-Berlin, in relation to the Travel and Tourism Expectation for 2009.
According to IPK International, internet bookings will surge, demand for online virtual meetings will gather pace, domestic travel will stay stable or grow, as will demand for low cost flights.
Long haul travel will fall sharply; moreover, the most pain will be felt in the business travel and Mice sectors. IPK’s worldwide interviews suggest that 40 per cent of Europeans will change their travel plans due to the economic crisis. Some 66 per cent of Americans and 60 per cent of Asians plan to make some kind of change.
According to Iata, Al Haremi said, the worst is not come yet. All people are facing a difficult time; this is a full global economic crisis, not a small recession.
“Alarm bells are ringing everywhere,” said Giovanni Bisignani Iata director general & chief at a press conference in ITB 2009, adding that 'The industry is in a global crisis and we have not yet seen the bottom.'
Bisignani added that international passenger demand fell by 5.6 per cent yoy in January 2009, following a 4.6 per cent reduction in December 2008. The demand drop outpaced capacity cuts of 2 per cent, driving the load factor down 2.8 percentage points to 72.8 per cent.
“This year, the task of assessing travel and tourism trends and drawing up forecasts has been more challenging than ever because of all the uncertainties,” Jean-Claude Baumgarten, WTTC president and chief, announced.
WTTC’s latest research suggests that Travel & Tourism Economy GDP will contract by 3.6 per cent in 2009. And it is expected to remain weak in 2010 with only marginal growth, of less than 0.3 per cent, currently expected – on what will already be a weak 2009.
However, Al Haremi recalled The Middle East’s Aviation Outlook 2009 report released recently by Capa (Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation) that remains relatively bullish about the region's prospects.
Global and regional aviation industry leaders belief that the Middle East aviation sector will be growing, while others are stagnating.-TradeArabia News Service