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Business and leisure travel will enjoy two years of growth

18 March 2005 by

Hotel sector analysts are predicting growth in both business and leisure travel.

"Overall it looks pretty good - the market is set to grow for the next few years," said Malcolm Preston, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers's travel division, speaking at the 8th International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin.

Preston said that growth in business travel was closely correlated to world GDP, which was set to grow for the next two years. Business travellers had also recovered from the shock of 9/11 and security fears were no longer causing them to postpone trips.

As for the leisure market, Preston said growth was closely linked to consumer spend, which he forecast would remain buoyant.

Hamish McRae, principal economic adviser at the Independent, also believed business would be good for the next two years, before a downturn maybe by July 2008.

"Perhaps you need to position your business for this," he said.

McRae warned hoteliers that environmental issues would grow in importance and that this could reduce trips made for business. He also questioned whether cheap airlines could continue operating as many flights as they were at present.

"Your business will have to be green and it will have to adopt best practice," he said.

by James Garner

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