Global tourism growth more than halved during June and further declines may be on the way, according to the latest edition of IATA’s premium traffic monitor.

“In June, the subdued performance was mostly a result of slow growth within the Far East,” the report said.

“This could be the first sign of weakness in air travel demand following months of sluggish economic performance in some parts of Asia.

“Looking ahead, although improvements in the Eurozone economy have translated into stronger demand for travel in both premium and economy classes over recent months, weakness in emerging markets could counter this positive trend.

“The June data suggests downside risks may already be materializing. ”

IATA (International Air Transport Association) said “passenger travel on international markets rose by just 3.0% in June compared to a year ago, decelerating significantly on the May increase of 6.2% year-on-year.

“Economy class travel grew at a stronger rate than premium international air travel, but both classes experienced a notable slowdown within the Far East region.

It said economy class travel rose 3.2% in June year-on-year, a slowdown on May growth of 6.4%, with growth supported by discounting.

Premium travel grew just 1.4% in June, well down on may growth of 4.1%, “reflecting continued weakness in business travel demand drivers, with global business confidence being dragged down by emerging markets.”

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