China is now biggest business travel market

China TravelChina has overtaken the United States in the race for the title of number one business travel market in the world.

The GBTA BTI Outlook – China 2016 H1 survey by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), has found that China edged past the United States for total business travel spend at the end of last year.

Soar ahead

The outlook for this year is expected to see China soar ahead with its business travel spend forecast to grow by more than 10%. This is in stark contrast to an expected growth of just 1.9% in the United States.

GBTA executive director and COO Michael W. McCormick commented: “Despite a relative slowdown, China’s business travel market remains one of the fastest growing in the world.

“China surpassing the United States in business travel spending marks a major inflection point and truly demonstrates the global nature of today’s economy.”

Exciting milestone

David Henstock, VP of Global Commercial Solutions at Visa, Inc – who sponsored the new GBTA BTI Outlook report – described its findings as “an exciting milestone for the travel industry”.

Other key findings from the survey concluded that despite an economic slowdown a steady stream of indicators continue to point towards controlled growth moderation as planned for the Chinese economy. This growth will continue to come primarily from consumption and government infrastructure investment.

In terms of global travel industry impact, this latest news is yet another example of the way in which emerging economies are influencing trends in a significant way. China plans to open 82 new airports and international hoteliers are also continuing to increase their presence in China, with more than 70% of new hotel construction in Asia Pacific being attributed to the country.

Date Created: 26 April 2016

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