Emerging markets to account for 51% of global air traffic over next decade

Daniel Batchelor

Global Head of Corporate Communications, Amadeus IT Group

This content is only available in this language.

Non-OECD air traffic is increasingly independent of mature Western markets, with “South-South” journeys accounting for 40% of global air traffic in the past five years.

They’re not emerging anymore – they’re here and already impacting the global travel industry according to findings from our report Shaping the Future of Travel. Accounting for 44% of global air traffic in 2013, Non-OECD countriesare forecasted to fuel the rise of this number to 51% in the next ten years, driven primarily by the expansion of large emerging markets, especially China.

Emerging market - China

At the heart of this trend is a rapid expansion in Chinese travel, and our model suggests that China may overtake the US as the largest source of outbound travel spend in the world in 2014, with China’s share of global outbound travel expenditure set to rise from 1% in 2005 to 20% in 2023. As Chinaleaves other emerging markets in its wake in terms of global market share, it may also surpass the US as the world’s largest domestic travel market by 2017.

Our forecasts of future travel expenditure in emerging markets are driven by expectations of consumer spending, employment and overall GDP growth. China’s boom is also underpinned by a unique cultural and behavioural shift, whereby a new and very large generation of Chinese individualsis expanding its overseas business interests and engaging in cross-border tourism in a manner unprecedented in previous generations. The potential market for outbound Chinese tourism could more than double to 220 million households in the next decade – making them a lucrative market segment to cater to over the next decade.

How is your business preparing for the rise of emerging market travellers? Let us know in the comments section below!


Asia Pacific, China, Research