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China to Become Largest Business Travel Market says GBTA

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April 17, 2013

China to Become Largest Business Travel Market says GBTA

The?Global Business Travel Association?(GBTA) issued a new report that shows China is expected to become the largest market for business travel in the world by 2015. The annual GBTA BTI Outlook-China report finds that total business travel spending in the country increased by an average 15.5 percent per year from 2000 to 2012.

After expanding by 7.8 percent in 2012, China?s economy should continue to usher the world out of its economic slowdown. GBTA forecasts that China?s GDP will increase by 8.3 percent in 2013, with growth predicted to be just below 9 percent in 2014.

Meanwhile, China domestic business travel will outperform international outbound business travel. In 2013, domestic travel spend should grow by 15.2 percent, according to GBTA, with an increase of 16.9 percent in 2014. Growth in international outbound business travel is forecast to pick up slightly following a marked slowdown in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, GBTA expects international outbound business travel to grow 13.3 percent, followed by an increase of 16.3 percent in 2014.

GBTA said the outlook for business travel in China is influenced by the country?s sustained economic growth. The Chinese economy managed a soft landing in 2012 despite the drag on its export sector caused by the protracted slowdown in Europe and the U.S. Export growth remains vital to China?s economic prospects, and neighboring countries, such as Malaysia, Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam, are taking up part of the shortfall.

China?s sustained, if slightly weaker, GDP growth means the outlook for business travel is still very positive, according to GBTA. The combination of an expected recovery in global markets and rising domestic consumption should yield further positivity.

Domestic travel has been performing better than international outbound over the last two years. GBTA expects this trend to continue as firms maneuver to serve rapidly growing markets across China. Domestic travel spend is projected to grow by 15.2 percent in 2013, and by 16.9 percent in 2014. In comparison, international outbound business travel from China has slowed considerably, with total IOB travel spending falling to 11.8 percent in 2011, and 10.9 percent in 2012. Growth is likely to recover to 13.3 percent in 2013, and a stronger 16.3 percent in 2014.

Source: James Shillinglaw (2013). GBTA Forecasts China to Become Largest Business Travel Market by 2015, Travel Pulse Apr 15, 2013. Viewed Apr 17, 2013,


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