Unsettled economic environment to slow growth of outbound tourism from BRIC countries

A recent study by ITB World Travel Trends Report, compiled by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin, has revealed outbound travel from the U.S. has been slowing down, travellers proving to be more cautious. Outbound travel from the US this year is forecast to rise by about three per cent. The number of long-haul trips rose by six per cent, while short-distance travel fell by around one per cent.

Around 52 per cent of Americans, more than half of those polled, said the recession influenced their travel intentions, although plans for trips abroad were less affected than local travel. 23 per cent, two per cent more than in 2011, actually aimed to undertake more international trips, while only 14 per cent, previously 21 per cent, have no plans at all to travel abroad. In 2013, overall growth in the US market is expected to be zero.

South America and in particular Brazil has registered booming outgoing travel figures, with a 12 percent increase in 2012 compared to the previous year, with a total increase forecast of 16 billion dollars. As such, Brazil now plays a leading role in the global tourism market. The destinations most popular with Brazilians are in Europe and the US. Economic uncertainty is now also manifesting itself in Brazil. Thus, 45 per cent said the recession would affect their travel plans. Whereas last year 42 per cent said they wanted to travel more, today that figure stands at 29 per cent. Overall, in 2013 outbound travel is forecast to increase by around two per cent, compared with 2012.

The decline in trips abroad has had a positive effect on local tourism. This trend is in keeping with the anticipated increase in foreign arrivals, which Brazil is preparing for as the host of two major upcoming sporting events, the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games, for which it has invested heavily in its tourism infrastructure.

“In recent years Brazil, along with India, China and Russia, has been a driving force in global tourism“, says Dr. Martin Buck, director of the Competence Center Travel and Logistics, Messe Berlin. “This trend is now weakening. The unsettled economy will also affect Americans’ travel plans next year. On a more positive note, the overall figures for outbound travel in 2013 are expected to remain stable or to marginally increase.“

Barcelona, Spain, one of the favourite destinations abroad for Brazilian travellers