Brazil Ascends World Rankings to Become 8th Largest Business Travel Market


Today, the GBTA Foundation released its latest semi-annual business travel forecast for Brazil. It shows Brazil’s business travel industry moved up one spot in the rankings from last year to become the 8th largest business travel market in the world. And, if Brazil can maintain its overall economic growth levels experienced since 2005, GBTA expects it to continue to climb the ranks of the top business travel markets in the world, likely surpassing South Korea and France during the next 10 years.

Despite facing two quarters of weaker economic growth in 2013, GBTA projects total spending on business travel will grow 12.5 percent in 2014 to $37 billion USD, and grow another 5.9 percent in 2015. Annual spending on business travel in Brazil has tripled since 2000; an impressive statistic considering much of the globe was battling a recession for a significant part of this time-frame.

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Both domestic and international outbound business travel are looking up for Brazil in the coming years. While domestic business travel spending growth in Brazil has slowed significantly off its aggressive pace earlier in the decade, mostly due to the slowdown in the once-charging domestic economy, GBTA expects it will strengthen in 2014. This should happen as firms and policymakers continue to take strides to boost productivity and competitiveness. The net impact of the World Cup should also inject a spending boost. GBTA expects 12.3 percent growth in 2014 before it moderates to 5.4 percent in 2015.

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Due mostly to the external environment, growth in international outbound business travel was hit hard in recent years but the worst appears to be in the past as a recovery in the Euro Area, Brazil’s largest trading partner, is underway. GBTA expects IOB spending will advance 13.1 percent in 2014 followed by another 8.1 percent in 2015 hitting $7.2 billion USD.

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I already mentioned the upcoming World Cup, but also looming on the not-so-distant horizon is the 2016 Summer Olympics causing Brazil to continue its race to expand infrastructure, particularly transportation infrastructure. While it will be a challenge to complete these projects in time for the World Cup, these efforts should have significant impacts on trade and business travel in Brazil over the next decade.

GBTA will have the chance to witness first-hand the impact of the World Cup on business travel as we host our GBTA Conference 2014 Brazil just days before the start of this major sporting event.

With the encouraging turnaround for international outbound business travel spending paired with expected domestic growth as well, Brazil is proving to be a key market to be in for businesses expanding globally.

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