The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), representing a number of the larger companies in international tourism (especially airlines, international hotel groups and travel agents and tour operators), has carried out in-depth economic studies on a world basis. Its research claims to demonstrate the lack of government appreciation of the size and importance of the tourist industry and even more significant its enormous potential for growth. The forecasts for growth far exceed those for any other major trade. However, the WTTC has warned of the challenges as well as the opportunities and the need for government appreciation and action if these forecasts are to be achieved. Like good signposts, they can only point the way ahead. They do not take one step towards reaching the goal. Generally most forecasts predict long-term growth in GDP and thus discretionary incomes (see Table 14.2, [dead link]). Leisure time, education and other demand determinants are already favourable in the world’s developed countries. New emerging markets in Asia and the Far East are growing fast. However, there are uncertainties about future growth. Social and environmental fears could impede expansion in certain travel flows. There are new influences causing instability and a much more volatile market for many now essential travel services and tourist trips.