Asia Pacific to drive global business travel – report
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The growth of business travel in Asia Pacific, led by China, is outpacing the rest of the world, according to a new forecast by the GBTA Foundation.
In its new GBTA BTI Outlook, the company predicts that global business travel spending will reach a record US$1.18 trillion in 2014, 6.9% higher than last year.
And much of this growth will be driven by countries in the Asia Pacific region. GBTA revealed that Asia Pacific already accounts for the largest amount of global business travel spending, with 38% of the global market, followed by North America (21%) and Western Europe (24%). And by 2018, Asia Pacific is expected to gain another 5% of global market share, with the US and Western Europe losing 3% and 2% respectively.
Business travel spending in Asia Pacific totalled US$392 billion in 2013 – more than doubling in size since 2000 with an annual growth rate of 7.5% annually. And this growth rate is now expected to accelerate to 10.2% over the next five years.
China’s business travel sector has grown from US$32bn in 2000 to US$225bn in 2013, at an average annual growth rate of 16.2%. By comparison, growth in business travel spending from the US has grown at an annual rate of just 1.1% since 2000.
“This report underscores that China, along with the other BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia and India are leveraging their business travel expenditures into more economic opportunities,” said GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick. “We expect to see this shift in business travel spending to continue.”
Eighty-nine percent of total business spending around the world, totalling US$984bn in 2013, originated from traffic in Asia Pacific, Western Europe or North America. And while the US is currently the top individual market, GBTA expects China to take the lead in terms of spending by 2016.
Italy and Spain continue to slip in GBTA’s annual rankings, while Brazil, Russia, India and China continue to rise. The BRIC nations now represent four of the top six countries in terms of business travel spending growth.
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