Well the festive season has come and gone, and its time to pack away the DVD box sets and novelty sweaters and get down to business once again. But what will the coming year hold in store for the travel industry? Not much, according to IATA Director-General and CEO, Giovanni Bisignani, who has said he expects “the 2008 gloom to continue in the New Year”. Hardly heart-warming stuff if you’re in the aviation industry. But in truth, who knows? The figures don’t look good, but as Benjamin Disraeli once said; “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Who on New Year’s Day 2008 could have predicted the turmoil the next 12 months would bring? And who’s to say that we will not, once again, be sitting pretty in 12 months time?
But while I am certainly no Nostradamus, there are signs of places on the rise. Here are a few crystal ball predictions of places we may be hearing more of in the coming year:
East Timor: Asia Pacific’s newest nation is looking to put its brief, troubled history behind it and become ‘the new Bali’. A new national carrier and direct services to Darwin and Denpasar will help.
Abu Dhabi: Dubai’s understated neighbour (relatively speaking), may be the one to watch this year. Etihad’s rapid route expansion, as well as fast-paced hotel developments (including the Desert Islands project) could see the Emirate eclipse its more famous twin.
Thailand: Think Thailand’s dead? Think again! The protesters have gone, the country appears more settled, and travellers will quickly regain confidence in this fabulous nation. But just in case, don’t forget to join TDA’s ‘Put the $mile back in Thailand’ campaign!
Whatever the next 12 months brings, keep reading TDA for your snapshot of everything that’s happening in the industry. Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2009!
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