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Global Travel Industry Set for Decade of Sustained Growth According to New Report from Amadeus

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 travel1 reaching as much as 20% by 2023, a new report on global travel trends reveals today.

Shaping the Future of Travel: Macro trends driving industry growth over the next decade predicts an optimistic macro-economic outlook for global travel over the next 10 years, with the industry projected to outstrip global GDP by some 2%, growing 5.4% per annum. Moreover, global travel is now set to grow at a significantly faster rate than during the financial crisis, where growth was just 4.1% per annum.

At the same time, China’s growth in outbound travel, which as recently as 2005 stood at just 1%, will enable it to overtake the U.S. to become the world’s largest outbound travel market this year, with the number of Chinese households able to afford overseas travel set to more than double in the next 10 years to reach 220 million. China will also become the biggest domestic travel market by 2017, driven largely by rapidly increasing GDP, rising employment levels and higher consumer spending.

However, the report indicates that growth will not be exclusive to China, with forecasts showing that other large emerging markets such as Russia, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Turkey will each also average more than 5% annual growth over the next 10 years. This will be driven largely by rising wealth and changing consumer habits.

Written by Oxford Economics, the world leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis for business and government, the study draws on detailed macro-economic modeling as well as qualitative interviews with industry experts, to forecast a wide range of future trends, including pockets of growth and opportunity that will shape the next decade of travel.

“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,” said Holger Taubmann, SVP Distribution, Amadeus. “However, as the complexities in the business travel market clearly demonstrate, growth will be far from evenly distributed and there are likely to be both winners and losers.”

He added: “At Amadeus our people, our technology and our innovation are dedicated to helping our customers and partners to shape the future of travel, and to this end we are continually committed to better understanding our industry and encouraging debate and discussion around the topics that matter and have implications for the entire sector.”

Some of the report’s key findings include:

Business travel will bounce back as links between East and West stimulate new demand, but western short-haul business travel will not reach pre-2008 levels until 2018. Asia will account for 55% of global business travel growth in the next ten years.

Air travel growth will be led by emerging economies such as India, Indonesia and Russia, as non-OECD air travel is set to overtake that of OECD members for the first time, to become largest source of global air traffic by 2023.

Demand for international hotel stays has outpaced demand for domestic stays since the recession, suggesting reduced domestic hotel spending is the new normal. At the same time, overnight visitor flows for Asia are set to grow nearly four times faster than Europe’s over the next ten years – but Europe will remain dominant.

“The global travel industry is gaining strength and changing as it emerges from the recent recession in developed countries. China’s development is an important driver but there are actually many more subtle factors also at play. Shifting competitive dynamics and the persistence of new behaviors that emerged during the recession are both impacting key indicators in the sector,” observed Andrew Tessler, Associate Director, Oxford Economics and the report’s author.

To download a free copy of the report please visit

Notes to the editors

Executives from the following companies contributed to the report:

  • Accor Group
  • Amadeus
  • Carlson Wagonlit Travel
  • Eurostar
  • FRHI Hotels & Resorts
  • FCm Travel Solutions
  • Heathrow Airport
  • Iberia
  • MakeMyTrip
  • Orbitz Worldwide
  • Schiphol Airport
  • Thai Airways
  • Turkish Airlines

Amadeus is a leading provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel industry. Customer groups include travel providers (e.g. airlines, hotels, rail and ferry operators, etc.), travel sellers (travel agencies and websites), and travel buyers (corporations and travel management companies).

The Amadeus group employs around 10,000 people worldwide, across central sites in Madrid (corporate headquarters), Nice (development) and Erding (operations), as well as 71 local Amadeus Commercial Organisations globally.

The group operates a transaction-based business model.

To find out more about Amadeus please visit

Oxford Economics was founded in 1981 as a commercial venture with Oxford University’s business college to provide economic forecasting and modelling to UK companies and financial institutions expanding abroad. Since then, we have become one of the world’s foremost independent global advisory firms, providing reports, forecasts and analytical tools on 200 countries, 100 industrial sectors and over 3,000 cities. Our best-of-class global economic and industry models and analytical tools give us an unparalleled ability to forecast external market trends and assess their economic, social and business impact.

Headquartered in Oxford, England, with regional centres in London, New York, and Singapore, Oxford Economics has offices across the globe in Belfast, Chicago, Dubai, Miami, Milan, Paris, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington DC. We employ over 130 full-time people, including more than 80 professional economists.

1 Oxford Economics defines outbound travel as travel from the originating country, to another country.

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