The travel and tourism industry sees the emerging global economies as the biggest opportunity over the next five years, reveals exclusive research from leading travel and tourism exhibition World Travel Market.
The inaugural World Travel Market Industry Report, released in London today, reveals close to one in three senior executives in the industry highlight the emerging markets – for both inbound and outbound travel – as the greatest single opportunity for their businesses until 2016.
This was the highest response to the question followed by technical advances and social media with 24.8 per cent and 20.4 per cent respectively.
This was supported by almost half (46.7 per cent) of the 1,200 travel and tourism executives polled citing emerging markets as one of the leading opportunities over the next five years – again the highest response to the question.
Furthermore, emerging markets are already having an impact on the travel and tourism industry.
Looking back over the past twelve months, 55.9 per cent of the sample said that emerging markets had been a positive influence on their business.
The findings confirm a sea-change in the way the travel and tourism industry operates on a global scale.
As the traditional markets of North American and Europe mature, the real growth opportunities can be found in the BRIC economies – Brazil, Russia, India and China - as well as the GCC nations such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Russia is already an important source market for Europe’s biggest tour operators TUI and Thomas Cook. Brazil’s largest travel business, CVC, was bought by US venture capitalist Carlyle Group this January. India is emerging as an important inbound and outbound destination, with the space devoted to India at WTM2010 28 per cent greater than last year, thanks to a greater involvement form the private sector.
China – which was today praised by the UNWTO for its attitude to tourism - continues to exploit its post-Olympics tourism legacy with new inbound organisations such as the China Luxury Travel Network making their debut at WTM.
World Travel Market Chairman Fiona Jeffery said: “New and emerging markets represent the future for the travel and tourism industry. Outbound travel is on the increase, and more and more countries are seeing the potential of tourism.
“World Travel Market is proud to be leading the way in bringing the world’s travel industry together.”