Schools Training

World Travel & Tourism Industry Competes for BRIC tourists

26 MAR 2012
Career Path : Tourism Management

Tourism business management teams around the world have set their sights on a new market: the rising middle class in the so-called BRIC nations: Brazil, Russia, India and China. These countries already account for more than 40% of the world’s population, a number that is only expected to grow. As is the amount of disposable income at the average citizen’s disposal. And tourists from these countries tend to spend more on holidays than tourists from elsewhere – by some accounts, even twice as much. So how is the international travel & tourism industry preparing to woo them?

Facilitating the visa-application process

Tourism business management teams in Canada and abroad are working with their own governments to make it easier for travellers from the BRIC countries to apply for visas.

Lobbying to lower airport fees, taxes

This tactic is of particular importance to Canada, which has traditionally been thought of as a “drive-to” rather than a “fly-to” company. Some travel & industry professionals argue that our airport fees serve as a disincentive to foreign travellers.

Teaming up with other countries to promote regional travel & tourism

Italy, France and Spain have signed a pact to help attract more tourists from BRIC countries.

Making it easier for them to use their plastic

Mexico has traditionally been a haven for North American tourists. But this may soon change. Mexican travel & tourism officials have been working hard to make it easier for travellers from China to visit by looking for ways to make their ATM and credits cards work with Mexican machines.

Speaking their language

Some destinations in Thailand have added Russian street signs. Tourism business management teams are also offering Russian classes to employees.

Adding more flights

In preparation for the Royal wedding, which apparently was a big draw for BRIC visitors, Heathrow added a new dedicated flight to Brazil. Around the same time, bookings on flights to and from Russia rose by almost 20%. The South African travel & tourism industry has also been advocating for more flights from the BRIC.

Letting them know they’re wanted

Tourism business management teams from around the world are beginning to realize the importance of advertising on Chinese search engines. Some Canadian travel & tourism professionals have advocated for more government funding for marketing geared at travellers from the BRIC.

Making sure the infrastructure exists

The bulk of BRIC travellers are expected to be mid-market travellers, interested in budget, rather than luxury, hotels.

Studying cultural differences in tourism courses

One can imagine exam questions in tourism courses of tomorrow.

How long in advance does the average mid-market Chinese traveller book a foreign holiday?

Answer: one month.

Tourism business management teams around the world have a lot to learn about this emerging market. Fortunately, they can feed off one another’s successes.