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|More trouble ahead for the travel industry?
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|Autor:||andinia2 [ Vie Dic 30, 2011 12:25 pm ]|
|Asunto:||More trouble ahead for the travel industry?|
The global economic crisis seems to go on despite recent optimism, and that could have a remarkable effect for travellers and those making a living from them.
People have different reasons to travel, but a significant portion of the public does so for pleasure, and tourism is thus based on the assumption that nations need some level of reasonable prosperity in order to provide the travel industry with the necessary customers. While travel is not exclusive to rich countries, it is evident that with more money in their pockets, people will travel and spend more.
In these times, countries that are significant for the travel industry are in trouble, namely Greece, Spain and Italy. Economic uncertainty is falling unto them as sovereign and private debts are becoming an issue for investors and regulators around the world. This could have a serious impact in other countries that are even more economically transcendental and could potentially suffer severe consequences, as their own debts could become under question: the United Kingdom and the United States. If the present problems are not solved, in a couple of years things could become even more complicated: imagining the United States not paying its debts is not science fiction any more.
These are the reasons behind the attitudes of world leaders these days: they understand the risks ahead and they are trying to do something about the problem. However, recent history indicates that the economic measures that are being put in place may not work, as they did not in Argentina and Iceland: both countries simply refused to cut pensions and fire public employees, as the IMF essentially suggests, and despite their own problems, the world did not come to an end there. So, others might feel tempted to follow the same path instead of confronting angry mobs in their streets.
The political cost of telling the world that they will not pay their debts is lower than fighting angry mobs; after all, even with sanctions and financial limitations similar to those experienced by people with very bad credit ratings, life goes on and governments might manage to survive. In other words, it is at least predictable that despite any sort of moral questions related to not paying debts, when put against the wall most governments will choose to stay with their people, perhaps not out of loyalty but fear of riots or political reasons. Politicians will hardly destroy their own careers for the sake of ideologies or pressures from abroad. In other words, it is at least likely that the kind of measures being taken in Europe and the United States will ultimately fail.
Uncertainty means that people will tend to act conservatively; less money will be spent in things secondary to survival, such as travel, as scarcer resources will have to be used to pay mortgages, increased taxes and more expensive essential products and services.
Within such a context, the travel and tourism industry will not see an expansion in the next few years; moreover, it is likely that it will contract, meaning in the end that jobs will be lost. The only sector of the industry that might experience some degree of growth is the one related to gambling destinations: Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Monaco will probably enjoy even more customers and visitors than before, and the reason is simple: When other things fail, hope remains a powerful motivation to gamble.
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