China overtakes the US to become the biggest business travel market

Travel News 12 May 2016

According to the latest Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) BTI Outlook for China, China edged ahead of the US in terms of total business travel spending at the end of 2015, by US$1 billion.

In 2015, China’s business travel sector was worth US$291.2bn.

Business travel spend in China continues to be dominated by the domestic sector, which currently accounts for 95% of total business travel spend in the country.

GBTA forecast that business travel spending in China will grow to $320.7 billion in 2016, 10% growth compared with the United States’ 1.9%. China’s growth is forecast to dip to 9.8% in 2017.

“Despite a relative slowdown, China’s business travel market remains one of the fastest growing in the world,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA’s executive director & chief operating officer. “China surpassing the United States in business travel spending marks a major inflection point and truly demonstrates the global nature of today’s economy.”

While the Chinese economy has been slowing, investment in travel infrastructure has not, according to GBTA, China plans to open a further 82 airports, high-speed railway lines continue to be developed and more than 70% of Asia/Pacific’s hotel construction pipeline is in China.

By Mark Elliott. This article is a fragment originally published on Travel Daily Asian and can be read in full here.