The BRIC countries constitute four of the top five fastest-growing online travel markets
Online travel sales are a bellwether for B2C ecommerce, and the trajectory for online travel purchases in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) tells a unique story about each country’s overall consumer base, according to a new eMarketer report, “BRIC Travel Markets in Transition: Trends Influence Overall Ecommerce.”
The BRIC countries will have four of the five fastest-growing online travel sales markets during the 2011 to 2016 period, eMarketer predicts. And India’s five-year compound annual growth rate of 30.6% will put it atop the group.
Online travel sales in these countries anchor an overall shift from offline to online purchasing among consumers in their respective markets. Still, while Brazil, Russia, India and China have been rendered inseparable by their ubiquitous acronym, there’s a distinct difference in volume of online travel sales across these countries, underscored by marked variations in consumer behavior.
Among the pronounced trends differentiating the countries:
- In Brazil, there is a narrow choice of travel products, which has limited consumers to primarily domestic travel.
- Russia has by far the lowest online travel sales of the emerging countries, despite high GDP. But consumers there do overindex as avid internet travel researchers.
- In India, consumers have been slow to adopt ecommerce generally, but travel is the exception. Online travel purchasing makes up more than three-quarters of overall ecommerce sales in India.
- The number of online travel bookers in China still pales in comparison to the number of overall ecommerce buyers. But at $48 billion, according to eMarketer estimates, consumers in China will spend more on online travel in 2016 than the rest of BRIC combined.
While it's clear that the BRIC countries share key characteristics as emerging markets, each has disparate digital and demographic trends affecting increases in online travel purchasing. Travel marketers expecting to capitalize on expanding sales volumes must understand the specific nature and nuances of each targeted consumer set.