BRICS Under the Spotlight at WTM

BRICS Under the Spotlight at WTM

The leading BRICS countries, which are driving a dramatic increase in global tourism, will be in the spotlight at a keynote session at next month’s World Travel Market in London: a forum entitled ‘Power Talk: Investing in BRICS Tourism’.

Stephen Sackur, presenter of BBC World’s HARDtalk news and current affairs programme, will host the panel discussion on Wednesday 9th November. Senior representatives will be present from government and tourism organisations of all five BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Reed Travel Exhibitions Chairman World Travel Market Fiona Jeffery said the BRICS countries represented significant potential for the future, bringing huge economic benefits for markets that are prepared for the new arrivals. “Given sound political decisions and some good luck, the BRICS economies together could become larger than those of the world’s six most developed countries in less than 40 years,” she said. “That is why this is such an important session for the future of the international industry.

“Of the current G6, only the USA and Japan may be among the six largest economies in US dollar terms in 2050.

“An estimated two billion new middle class consumers are expected to come into the markets from these emerging economies over the next 20 years. However, critics say the industry is simply not preparing ahead sufficiently to maximise the numerous opportunities.”

China outbound travel market is growing by an estimated 20% increase every year. A total of 58 million Chinese travelled outbound last year last year. The Chinese, for example, have set their sights on the Caribbean – and particularly the region’s tourism business – as a significant investment target. Governments in the region, as well as the private sector, are welcoming them with open arms. “The Chinese government has already made several substantial direct investments and aims to do more,” said Dr Adam Wu, Chief Operating Officer of China Business Network. “There’s no myth to the reasons for the Chinese interest in the Caribbean. Diplomacy and geopolitics lead to trade and investment.”

A formal invitation was made earlier this year by the BRIC countries for South Africa, as the continent’s leading economy, to join them. It was for this reason that five countries have been invited to be represented at the WTM forum. “The meeting will investigate how the industry can take advantage of the BRICS economies booming growth with a top-line panel of speakers,” added Fiona Jeffery.

Speakers will include: Jeanine Pires, Director of Pires & Associates, President of the Tourism and Business Council of FECOMERCIO in Sao Paulo and former President of Embratur, Brazil; Sergey Stanovkin, Director of Dars Consulting, Moscow, Russia and H.E. Marthinus van Schalkwyk, South Africa’s Tourism Minister.

World Travel Market’s ‘Power Talk: Investing in BRICS Tourism’, hosted by the BBC’s Stephen Sackur is at 4.00pm on Wednesday 9th November at Platinum Suite 4, ExCeL London.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at

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