China overtakes U.S. as global leader in corporate travel spending
China edged past the United States in total business travel spending at the end of 2015 by a billion U.S. dollars
China’s business travel market has overtaken the United States as the number one business travel market in the world, according to a report by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), sponsored by Visa, Inc.
Revised figures show China edged past the United States in total business travel spending at the end of 2015 by a billion U.S. dollars, finishing the year with $291.2 billion in spend compared to $290.2 billion respectively. China will soar ahead in 2016 with business travel spend forecast to grow 10.1 percent to $320.7 billion USD, compared to 1.9 percent growth in the United States and $295.7 billion USD in total business travel spend.
Additional key findings from GBTA BTI Outlook – China 2016 H1 include:
• Despite slowing economy, investment in travel infrastructure continues in anticipation of better days ahead for both business and leisure travel. A plan to open 82 new airports has been underway since 2011 and hoteliers are also continuing to increase their presence in China. Over 70 percent of the hotel construction pipeline in Asia Pacific can be attributed to China.
• Business travel spend in China continues to be dominated by domestic business travel, which comprises 95 percent of total business travel spend. Domestic business travel growth of roughly 10 percent is still expected on an annual basis over 2016 and 2017.
• GBTA’s forecast of 9.8 percent total business travel spend growth in 2017 would mark the first year of this millennium that China’s business travel spend growth rates dropped below double digits.
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