Travel and tourism’s massive demographic shift

Huge numbers of newly middle-class starting to explore
Get ready for a massive demographic change in the nationalities of incoming tourists, as large numbers of newly middle-class people from emerging markets start to explore new regions like the Nordics.
Despite slower growth in countries like China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of first-time travellers from rapidly developing countries will start going abroad in the coming decades, dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen so far.
This demographic shift is one of the biggest trends shaping travel in the 21st century. International travellers are starting to pour out of China and the other BRICs and everywhere from Mexico to Malaysia from Turkey to the Philippines.
While income is not always correlated with travel, middle-class households are increasing substantially in number. Meanwhile, the cost of travel is falling, visa restrictions are lifting, digital tools and social media are expanding, and the more open millennial generation is growing.
China is the top source market for international tourists and, since 2012, the biggest spender in international tourism – $165 billion spent abroad in 2014, $54 billion more than Americans. Estimates report a 13% compound annual growth rate in outbound trips from China since 2005.
And “we’re seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of outbound travel from China,” says one tourism consultant. More than 80% of Chinese tourists stay in Asia, but in the next 10 years that is expected to change.
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