Visa, in partnership with Oxford Economics, recently released a study exploring trends that are accelerating and reshaping the growth of the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Visa surveyed 50 of the largest economies in the world, collecting data from 750 major cities to analyze how the traveling class, aging and connectivity are set to impact the 50 markets for outbound tourism in the next decade.
Perhaps the most surprising insight Visa’s study provides is that outbound travel for Indian nationals over age 65 is expected to experience a staggering 193 percent increase in growth by 2025. The estimated annual growth in outbound travel in the 65-plus category is expected to hit 11.4 percent year over year. Compare this to the projected 4.9 percent year-on-year growth in outbound travel for those ages 34 and younger or the 6.4 percent year-on-year growth of outbound travel for the 34-to-64-year-old age bracket.
Visa attributes this inflated growth in outbound travel among India’s seniors not just to an increased interest in international travel, but also to a rise in medical tourism. Globally, Visa estimates that travelers in the 65-plus demographic will more than double their international travel to 180 million trips by 2025 — accounting for one out of every eight international trips.
T.R. Ramachandran, group country manager for India and South Asia at Visa, was quoted as saying, “The growing income levels among the Indian middle class are creating a new ‘traveling class.’ That, combined with the preference for outbound travel of Indians above 65 years of age and increased connectivity, is changing the outbound travel landscape in a very different way. Unlike earlier days, older travelers can afford bigger trips and are more focused on comfort and health than saving money.”
The Visa study estimates that close to 282 million households will plan at least one international trip per year by 2025, up nearly 35 percent from 2015. In households most likely to travel internationally, the study estimates that average travel spending to be $5,305 per household per year by 2025.