Travel to grow nearly 4% in 2014, according to WTM

The World Travel Market (WTM) Global Trends Report predicts a 3.8% growth in GDP for travel in 2014, which will mainly be driven by spending growth from the BRIC countries.

World Travel Market at Excel London
World Travel Market at Excel London

The report, revealed at the four-day WTM, also highlighted an emerging trend seeing corporate travellers booking 'micro-stays' in hotel rooms during off-peak hours. Prices are up to 70% cheaper than for overnight stays. The UK and US currently lead the way in this market but hotels in western Europe are expected to follow suit.

Other news breaking at WTM included an annoucement by Onyx Hospitality Group of the completion of a £2.5m refurbishment project at its Amari Watergate Hotel in Bangkok. The money was spent on upgrading the facilities of its 1,000 square metre ballroom and three meeting rooms. The group also announed the forthcoming opening in March 2014 of a 170-room hotel in Columbo, Sri Lanka, as part of its Ozo brand. The hotel will be pitched at corporate travellers with meeting facilties and break out rooms on site. Onyx, which currently has 32 hotels under four brands, including Ozo,  plans to have a porfolio of 51 hotels by 2018.

Elsewhere, Don Welsh, chief executive of Choose Chicago, said that in early 2014, Chicago plans to break ground for a 10,000 seat arena and an attached 550-room hotel, as well as a 1,200-room Mariott Marquis hotel across from the exitisting McCormick Place convention centre. The new buildings are due to be completed by 2017.

Meanwhile, Visit England says the surge in 'staycation' figures this summer - up 9% on July 2012 - due to good weather could lead to more corporate groups booking UK desitinations in 2014.

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