China remains the most important emerging economy for the tourism industry, reveals a global study of travel industry executives by World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry.
The World Travel Market 2012 Industry Report asked 1,310 exhibitors and leading buyers from the Meridian Club to rank the BRICS economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – in order of importance for both inbound and outbound tourism.
China was the most important outbound market for 26% of the respondents, and the second most important for a further 24%. Furthermore, it also topped the tables for inbound importance, reflecting a global interest in visiting China. Some 28% felt that it was the most important inbound market of the five, with 26% putting it in second place.
Russia was the next most important outbound market, followed by Brazil, India and South Africa. For inbound, Brazil and Russia swapped places with India and South Africa remaining the least important.
The sample was asked why their chosen BRICS economies was the most important, with the potential number of visitors coming out on top followed by the amount spent by travellers from the country.
The emerging economies have started to have an impact on the global travel and tourism industry, with nearly two-thirds (63%) saying their company had or was planning to adapt its business model in order to appeal to travellers from the BRICS economies.
Reed Travel Exhibitions Chairman World Travel Market Fiona Jeffery said: “The size of the Chinese market is clearly a big factor in its importance as an outbound market, but it is interesting that China is also emerging as an important place for people to visit.
“However, to fully capitalise on the potential on offer from the BRICS countries, hotels and tourism companies need to adapt their product development accordingly.”