TIME Travel

Report: China to Power Growth in World Tourism

A man drags a suitcase with a girl sitting on it at a long-distance bus terminus in Qingdao, Shandong province
A man drags a suitcase with a girl sitting on it at a bus terminus in China on Jan. 16, 2014 China Daily—Reuters

A new report by the Amadeus travel and consultancy group Oxford Economics says China and other emerging markets are the main forces that will drive the travel industry, which is expected to grow at a faster rate than the global economy over the next decade

China will be the driving force behind a decade of growth in the global travel industry, according to a new report.

The report, conducted for the travel agency Amadeus by the consultancy group Oxford Economics, found that the travel industry will grow at a faster rate than the global economy over the next 10 years, in large part thanks to China and other major emerging countries such as India, Indonesia, Russia and Brazil.

“The global travel industry is poised for a period of sustained growth over the next decade, driven in part by China’s share of global outbound travel reaching as much as 20% by 2023,” Amadeus said in a statement.

The rapidly growing middle class in China will make the country overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest outbound-travel market this year and the biggest domestic travel market in 2017, the report said. The report suggests the global travel industry is finally emerging from the financial crisis, which took a heavy toll on the industry.

“Forecasts predict a new golden era for travel, which will be welcome news for many segments of the industry that are only just beginning to emerge from recession” Holger Taubmann, Amadeus’ senior vice president, said in a statement.

Business travel is also booming in Asia, and according to the report, Asia will account for just over half of the growth in global business travels in the next 10 years, while the West will not reach the level of short-haul business travel it had prior to the financial crisis in 2008 until after 2018.

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