Rising ‘travelling class’ crossing borders more often

By Wayne Best, Chief Economist • Visa

August 30, 2016

As Europe enters the busy summer holiday period, the continent will see millions travelling to and from it. Is this growth sustainable? How might travel patterns evolve over the long term? Visa’s international travel insights report highlights what’s going to happen over the next decade.

What our study found is that the combination of a rising global middle class, an aging population and increased connectivity are going to significantly increase the number of households – 282 million by 2025, a 35 percent increase from 2015 – that will plan to travel internationally.

The “travelling class”

A rising middle class across the globe is expanding what we call the “travelling class”. These are households that make at least $20,000 USD or more per year and can afford international travel. They collectively account for over 90 per cent of international travel spend today.

The aging population is changing the travel landscape in a very different way. By 2025, travellers aged 65+ will more than double their international travel to an estimated 180 million trips, accounting for one-in-eight international trips globally.


Increased connectivity will also have a real impact by changing the way people travel, as well as making it much more affordable. With 340 new airports expected to be built over the next decade and new technologies increasing Internet connectivity, how people travel will change dramatically.

Among those households most likely to travel internationally, Visa’s study estimates that spending will reach an average of $5,300 per household, per year, by 2025.

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