China business travel spend to surge

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) expects Chinese business travel spend to experience double-digit growth over the next two years.

It will then increase 16% in 2014 to US$262 billion in 2014, then another 18% in 2015, according to the GBTA’s latest BTI Outlook for China, the results of which were announced at ITB Asia on Thursday. The analysis states that Chinese economic activity rebounded in Q2 2014 after a sluggish start to the year, largely due to improving exports, stronger household consumption and stimulus-driven local government infrastructure spending.

Welf J. Ebeling speaking at ITB Asia 2014 in Singapore
Welf J. Ebeling speaking at ITB Asia 2014 in Singapore

China will surpass the US in terms of business travel spending by 2016 and China’s international outbound travel is to grow 16% in 2014 and an additional 19% in 2015 to US$13.4bn, GBTA said.

“The unprecedented growth in China’s economy has propelled the country’s business travel market to represent roughly 20% of global business travel spending,” said Welf Ebeling, regional director for GBTA in Asia.

“The continuation of China’s robust domestic economic growth is dependent on increased consumption. Chinese authorities are focused on maintaining these current levels of economic growth while continuing to execute a long-term strategy to rebalance the economy, to be less dependent on exports and investments and more focused on consumption,” added Ebeling.

“Economic growth in China continues to provide great potential for an active business travel market,” said Stanford Lin, head of products at Visa China. “In line with GBTA’s report, we are seeing that China’s business travel market continues to evolve in 2014, driven by fast-growing outbound travel.”

Pic caption: Welf J. Ebeling speaking at ITB Asia 2014 in Singapore

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