Low cost travel flights and emerging global middle class will mean huge tourism

The travel and tourism industry has grown dramatically in the past decades, reaching nearly 1.2 billion international arrivals in 2015, compared to 25 million in 1950. That’s a growth of 4,700%. Various projection are for international arrivals to reach 1.8 billion international arrivals by 2030.

Costs for international travel is dropping with more fuel efficient planes. The cost for long overseas flights is dropping from $800-1200 a few years ago to $400-700 today and $200-400 in one to three years and likely about $100-250 in four to five years.

There is the continuing rise of a middle class in China and in India.

If China were to match the number of overseas trips as Taiwan, then this would be an increase of 12 times over 2016. Going from 0.15 trips per person per year to around 2 trip per person per year. China is larger country and could have more domestic tourism.

If China has a Taiwan level middle class in 2030-2050 and costs for transportation are about $100 per trip then what will be the limits on tourism ?

Some major tourist spots have begun limiting or rationing tourism.

High resolution virtual reality travel would be an alternative to real visits to crowded spots.

There would be financial incentive for major destinations to build up the infrastructure to handle more visitors.

After 2050, there will likely be 6-7 billion people that are the equivalent of todays developed world middle class or affluent class. Two to four trips per person per year is not inconceivable (higher incomes and low transportation costs). This would be 12 to 28 billion international arrivals.

1950 to 2015 saw 47 times growth.
2015 to 2065 could see 20-50 times growth.

Mastercard has a detailed analysis of outbound travel for the Asia Pacific.

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