The travel industry is poised for a ‘golden decade’ of sustained growth, driven by outbound travel from Asia, according to a new report.
Research from Oxford Economics, commissioned by Amadeus, has predicted 5.4% annual growth in global travel for the next decade. This will outpace the growth of GDP, which is predicted to increase 3.4% annually.
International traffic is expected to grow faster than domestic, with the former already up 20% between 2009 and 2012 compared to an increase of 5% in domestic traffic. And China will be the main driver of this growth, with the country expected to contribute a staggering 20% of global outbound travel by 2023, compared to just 1% in 2005. Already the world’s biggest outbound source market, China is also set to become the biggest domestic travel market by 2017.
This Chinese surge will lead to Asia Pacific becoming the fastest growing global region over the next decade, with visitor flows forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 15.1% – nearly double the previous 10-year period.
Asia Pacific will also overtake Europe to dominate global outbound travel spending by 2023, expanding at an annual rate of 18% over the next 10 years. By 2023, Asia Pacific’s outbound travel spend will reach US$752.8 billion, making up 40% of the world’s total.
Business travel is expected to bounce back, stimulated by links between Asia and the West. Asia will account for 55% of global business travel growth in the next 10 years, and Northeast Asia alone – including China – will account for 42% of the growth.
“The findings underscore what most of us already intuitively know – that we have now truly arrived in the Asian Century,” said Angel Gallego, president of Amadeus Asia Pacific.
“No matter where we look, Asian travellers have and will continue to change the landscape of travel, and businesses must adapt to them or risk falling behind. Our role is to help travel players stay one step ahead of the game. But our bigger mission is to help the Asia Pacific industry prepare itself to manage the next billion travellers.”
The report indicated however, that growth will not be exclusive to China. Forecasts show that other large emerging markets such as Russia, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Turkey will each also average more than 5% annual growth over the next 10 years.