China to become leading business travel market despite economic uncertainty

Travel News 01 Aug 2015

Revealing its latest outlook at the GBTA Convention 2015 in Orlando, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) said that Chinese business travel spending will increase 61% over the next five years, from US$261 billion in 2014 to US$420bn in 2019.

That increase is greater than the business travel growth forecast for the next eight largest countries combined, including the US, Germany, India, UK, Indonesia, France, Turkey and Japan.

Overall, the GBTA outlook predicts that global business travel spending will hit a record US$1.25 trillion in 2015, 6.5% higher than 2014. And growth will remain strong until the end of the decade, with spending projected to grow 6.9% in 2016, 6.0% in 2017, 6.4% in 2018 and 5.8% in 2019.

In 2014, more than two-thirds of total business travel spending occurred in the US, China and Western Europe. Currently Asia Pacific owns the largest share of the business travel market, with 39%, followed by North America (27%) and Western Europe (24%). And the GBTA expects that by 2019, Asia Pacific will have gained another 3.5 percentage points in market share, while the US and Western Europe will lose 2.7 and 0.6 percentage points respectively.

GBTA also identified five emerging markets which are expected to become key business travel markets of the future. These are Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland and Turkey.

The association has also highlighted India for potential “breakout growth”, with business travel spending expected to grow at an annual rate of 11.5% per year through 2019, by which time it will be in the top five global countries for business travel.