GBTA: China Business Travel Forecasted to Continue Growth

According to the Global Business Travel Association’s “GBTA BTI Outlook — China 2013 H2” report, China’s total business travel spending is expected to increase by 14.3% in 2013 to $224 billion and 17.2% in 2014 — more than double the rate of the U.S. in 2014.

Here are some other highlights from the report:

  • Despite weaker than expected business travel growth in H1 of 2013, China should surpass the U.S. as the world’s most dominant business travel market as early as 2016.
  • Domestic business travel continues to outperform international outbound (IOB). In 2013, domestic travel spend should grow 14.3%, followed by another 17.2% in 2014.
  • Growth in IOB has been revised slightly downward in 2013, with forecast growth of 12.8%, followed by a stronger than previously expected 16.5% in 2014.
  • Beijing Capital International Airport is set to surpass longstanding Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as the world’s busiest airport.

“Our forecast for Chinese business travel remains in line with our outlook published in the first half of 2013,” said Welf J. Ebeling, regional director, GBTA Asia. “Diminished trade activity to and from China, particularly in Europe and North America, has undermined the demand for long-haul business travel. We do, however, see annual growth pushing back toward 20% over the next few years.”

“As China’s economy continues to grow, so does their expected demand for business travel,” said Tad Fordyce, head of global solutions at Visa Inc. “Led by anticipated strong growth of domestic business travel, the BTI predicts China will be the world’s top business travel market by 2016.”

The GBTA commissioned Rockport Analytics, LLC to create this semi-annual business travel outlook for China. Sponsored by Visa, it provides insights for corporate travel professionals and the business community into both short- and long-term trends in Chinese domestic and international outbound business travel activity.

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