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Report OverviewRecent growth in international tourism expenditure has mainly been driven by a handful of emerging markets. Today, China alone accounts for one-fourth of all international tourism expenditure despite just 8.7 percent of Chinese holding a passport, indicating that room for growth in the country is still significant. Emerging outbound markets are strongly correlated to economic and social developments in their respective countries, where a strong middle class often results in a higher overall travel spend. Infrastructure and political stability are also essential and strongly related to economic development. Countries such as China, India, Indonesia, and Brazil, which have a very low number of international departures compared to their total population, are likely to be large sources of future growth. Minimal growth in any of the markets can have a big impact on the tourism industry for the mere sizes of the markets. Travel correlation between economic growth and international tourism expenditure has been also shown in recent years as oil prices have declined. Countries relying on oil exports, such as Brazil and Russia, have experienced pressure on their economies, which has also been reflected in their travel expenditure. China, on the other hand, has seen its move toward free trade bring increase the living standards of many of its citizens even though the country is still effectively controlled by the communist party. By looking at how these markets have grown historically we can determine which countries still have room for growth and at what point they might reach saturation.
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