India leads BRIC nations in outbound luxury travel growth

Patricia Simillon

Head of Strategic Marketing, Airlines, Amadeus IT Group

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It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that from now until 2025, the number of luxury outbound trips from Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC) will increase, according to our traveller trend research.

india leads bric


Forecasted BRIC outbound luxury travel growth

  • Brazil’ luxury market will grow at a relatively slow 4.2% rate, primarily due to a lack of an established middle class.
  • Russia will experience a growth rate of 9%, despite the nation’s economic reliance on global oil prices.
  • India’s luxury travel Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.8% is higher than any of the other BRIC nations.
  • China’s luxury travelmarket will continue to experience double-digit growth at 12.2%, albeit at a slower pace than in the past.

India outpacing the world in luxury travel

In addition to leading all BRIC nations, India also had the highest CAGR of the 25 countries we explored in our report. When broken down into the distance of luxury journeys, there is very little regional travel, and a very high percentage of medium and long-haul travel – which is the opposite case for the majority of nations.

However, this is really more of a geographical explanation than an economic one. While India’s middle class is taking off and fuelling a rapid growth in its luxury market, medium and long‑haul air travel will increase rapidly across all classes – perhaps also due to the diaspora of Indian immigrants – and luxury travel will follow this national travel trend. As its middle class continues to grow, India will likely lead the way in luxury travel, presenting great potential for investment over the coming decade.

South Asia expanding fast

Driven by India’s impressive luxury market growth, South Asia’s luxury travel market will expand at a faster rate than any other region explored. The sub-Himalayan countries will also see significant growth in overall travel, but the rate of its luxury market growth will gain momentum as its middle class markets grow and continue jet-setting.

Hazem Hussein, Executive Vice President, Airline Commercial, Amadeus Asia Pacific, said that “Some of the fastest growth in the luxury travel market is being driven out of Asia Pacific. Asian luxury travellers have a unique set of motivations and needs – understanding what drives their travel behaviour and providing a personalised experience will be critical for travel providers”.

What do you think? How can luxury travel players take advantage of these trends? For more insights like this – download a copy of our Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel - Future Traveller Tribes 2030report.

In the 11 years since then, I think I can say that we’ve done well. We were the first LCC in China to fly internationally, the first to become publicly listed, and today we’re North Asia’s largest low-fare airline, flying more than 15 million passengers annually.

But the important question for us is not what we’ve achieved to date. It’s ‘what’s next?’

These days we have our eyes fixed on international expansion. Just last year we opened 36 new routes, and in total we now operate 52 international routes between China and North Asia, Greater China, and South East Asia. Today, our domestic and international business roughly take up equal proportion.

In the initial phase of our international expansion, Chinese travellers account for most of the passengers on our international routes. But our ambitions are big, and as we expand rapidly to even more locations, it’s important for us to now put our focus on the other way around – getting more international travellers on our planes and into China.


Asia Pacific, Research