BRICs No Longer a Bloc for Business Travel Growth

Continued Brisk Growth in China Despite Recent Economic Speed Bumps

This morning we released findings from GBTA’s BTI™ Outlook semi-annual forecast reports on Brazil, China, India and Russia, sponsored by Visa, Inc. Our VP of research, Joe Bates, is also presenting the results this week at ITB Asia in Singapore. In the latest round of forecasts, we found the BRICs are no longer acting as a bloc when it comes to business travel.


China and India business travel will continue to grow at double digit rates over the next two years, a clear indication of the resiliency and strength of both economies. Despite recent economic turmoil, China business travel spending is projected to grow at 11.2 percent in 2015 and 10.7 percent in 2016. China is poised to become the global leader in business travel by mid-2016, with business travel spending forecasted to increase by more than 60 percent from 2014 to 2019.

Additionally, strong momentum powers business travel growth in India, projected to be 11.1 percent in both 2015 and 2016. This is a reflection of an improving business climate under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as well as the high levels of domestic economic activity.

On the other hand, domestic business travel in Brazil continues to weaken as unemployment has hit a five-year low, consumer spending continues to slow and the Brazilian Real has been devalued. Russian business travel growth faces serious headwinds as well. In total, GBTA expects business travel spending in Russia to fall 17 percent in 2015 to $17.5 billion USD.

A decade ago, it looked like these four nations would develop in lockstep, with high rates of growth across the board. But their paths have diverged sharply as a result of the unique political and economic situations in each country. China and India continue to be business travel juggernauts, a reflection of the underlying strength of both economies even in a tough global economic environment. Brazil and Russia, on the other hand, face growing economic turbulence, turmoil and uncertainty.

Stay tuned for future posts from our research team digging deeper into the forecasts for each country.