• Brazil’s business travel industry moved up one spot in the rankings from last year to become the 8th largest business travel market in the world. If Brazil can get economic growth back on track, GBTA expects it to continue to climb the ranks of the top business travel markets in the world, likely surpassing South Korea and France during the next 10 years.
• Domestic business travel spending growth in Brazil has slowed significantly off its aggressive pace earlier in the decade, mostly due to the slowdown in the once-charging domestic economy. GBTA expects domestic business travel spending will strengthen a bit in 2014, however, as firms and policymakers continue to take strides to boost productivity and competitiveness. GBTA expects 12.3 percent growth in 2014 before it moderates to 5.4 percent in 2015.
• Growth in international outbound (IOB) business travel was hit hard in recent years mostly due to the external environment, but the worst appears to be in the past as a recovery in the Euro Area, Brazil’s largest trading partner, is underway. GBTA expects IOB spending will advance 13.1 percent in 2014 followed by another 8.1 percent in 2015 hitting $7.2 billion USD.
“This forecast tells a story of continuing positive growth in Brazil despite recent volatility,” said Wellington Costa, president of GBTA Brazil. “The encouraging turnaround for international outbound business travel spending paired with expected domestic growth as well shows suppliers and travel managers that Brazil is a key market to be in for businesses expanding globally.”
“With the forecast for increased business travel to and from Brazil, travel will continue to be an important sector of the Brazilian economy,” said Percival Jatoba, Vice President of Products of Visa Brazil. “Visa is committed to providing a secure, globally accepted payment option for business travelers, a vital step toward economic growth.”
Infrastructure Growth Moving Forward With World Cup and Summer Olympics Looming
Brazil continues its race to expand infrastructure, particularly transportation infrastructure, as the country prepares to host the World Cup later this year and the Summer Olympics in 2016. In the World Economic Forum’s 2012-2013 Global Competitiveness report, Brazil ranked 107 out of 144 countries for quality of infrastructure falling three spots from the previous year. Brazil seeks major improvement including modernization of ports, the expansion of airports and the repair of crumbling highways, and is attempting to meet these challenges through privatization. While it will be a challenge to complete these projects in time for the World Cup, these efforts should have significant impacts on trade and business travel in Brazil over the next decade.
World Cup Impact on Business Travel
Travel managers who already have arrangements in place for travel during the World Cup are in a good position. Those looking to make arrangements during that timeframe should act quickly as it’s possible they could face higher prices and limited availability as the event nears.
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About the GBTA Foundation
The GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s premier business travel and corporate meetings organization. Collectively, GBTA’s 6,000-plus members manage over $340 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its network of 21,000 business and government travel and meetings managers, as well as travel service providers, with networking events, news, education & professional development, research, and advocacy. The foundation was established in 1997 to support GBTA’s members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the GBTA Foundation seeks to fund initiatives to advance the business travel profession. The GBTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, see gbta.org and gbta.org/foundation.