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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - If we all stick to our New Year's resolutions, there will be more healthy, charitable, better educated and well traveled people in 2010 than last year, according to a forecast by an Australian market research firm.
While 2009 saw many people tightening their belts to deal with weak economies and unemployment, business information analysts IBISWorld predicts people will spend more this year on bettering themselves as the economic outlook improves.
"While 2009 was the year for dropping the gym membership and taking up walking and other free activities, improving consumer sentiment and the positive economic outlook mean 2010 will see people rapidly returning to professional help to achieve their fitness and weight loss goals," said IBISWorld's Robert Bryant.
"Getting fit has long been a favorite New Year's pledge, and growing awareness of healthy lifestyles is driving the trend, not to mention the guilt from over-indulging in the festive season."
IBISWorld predicted revenues for the weight-loss and fitness industry to reap revenues of nearly A$205 million dollars ($181 million) in January alone, while people will also spend more on trying to kick bad habits such as drinking and smoking.
More people are also expected to enroll in enrichment courses in January give them the edge in a job market where unemployment is still relatively high or as a way to de-stress -- and more will also give money to charity, with IBISWorld forecasting Australians will donate A$412.8 in January.
In a forecast that is expected to cheer the travel industry, IBISWorld predicted Australians will start traveling abroad again in 2010, helping to boost international airline revenues by almost 10 percent, with Asian destinations such as Bali, Thailand and Japan among the most popular.
Writing by Miral Fahmy, editing by Belinda Goldsmith