Slower Growth for Brazil Travel Spending

Brazil's Rio de Janeiro. Photo via Wikimedia.
Brazil's Rio de Janeiro. Photo via Wikimedia.

Business travel spending in Brazil is expected to grow 3.6% in 2014 and 4.1% in 2015, down from earlier projections of 12.5% and 5.9%, according to the latest semi-annual “GBTA BTI Outlook — Brazil” report by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation.

In addition, total business travel spending in 2013 has been revised to $30.8 billion from the GBTA’s original estimate of $31.2 billion, says the report.

Sponsored by Visa Inc., the report includes the GBTA BTI — an index of business travel spending that distills market performance over a period of time.

“Outside economic pressures and a domestic slowdown as the country’s primarily consumption-driven economy begins to run out of steam are forcing the slowdown in business travel growth,” said Wellington Costa, regional director for GBTA Brazil. “The uncertainty of the upcoming elections has also impacted the slowdown in the economy and reduced growth in business travel locally. The previously expected growth in 2014 will be pushed further into the future, and we expect higher rates of growth to resume by the end of 2015.”

According to the GBTA, key highlights of the report include:

  • Despite the slowing growth, Brazil’s business travel industry outperformed South Korea to become the seventh largest market in the world. 
  • The growth in domestic business travel spending has been trending downward since peaking in 2011 — increasing 9% in 2012 and 5.1% last year.
  • International Outbound (IOB) business travel has been more challenging than domestic activity as trade took a major hit in 2013. GBTA expects slight growth (2.1%) this year in IOB spending before it increases in 2015, growing a projected 5.1%.
  • It is too soon to tell if the World Cup gave the economy a boost. While it brought more than a million visitors to Brazil boosting hotel, restaurant, retail, transportation and entertainment sectors, it also brought declared municipal holidays, worker absenteeism and a virtual standstill in many manufacturing and mining sectors.

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