Asia to account for 40% of business travel spend

Welf Ebeling presents the GBTA BTI outlook report for 2014 at ITB Asia
Welf Ebeling presents the GBTA BTI outlook report for 2014 at ITB Asia

Global business travel spending is expected to reach a record US$1.18 trillion by 2014, according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

Unveiled at this week’s ITB Asia event in Singapore, the GBTA’s latest Business Travel Index (BTI) outlook report also states that nearly 40% of this spending will come from Asia Pacific.

“In Asia Pacific, there are a number of countries showing high growth in terms of business travel spend. These markets include Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. We forecast an average growth rate of 7.5-10% annually in these markets,” Welf Ebeling, GBTA’s vice president of operations for Asia, told delegates at ITB Asia.

China showed growth of 16% in the first decade of this century, in comparison to the USA, which has only seen a 4.4% growth this year. Japan saw a reduction in business travel spend for 2013 but still placed second in Asia.

“Over the last 15 years, India has worked its way up the rankings of major global business travel markets from number 24 in 2000 to the world’s 10th ranked market in 2013. GBTA expects India to become the ninth largest business travel market within the next five years.

“Asia is one of the most promising yet most challenging regions for business travel. Corporate travellers are a precious asset and need to be looked after and fed the right information,” Ebeling added, highlighting the Ebola virus as an example.

“Without the correct information, they might panic – or ignore the issue completely,” he said.

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