China’s Business Travel Expected to Surpass U.S. by 2015
China’s meteoric economic growth over the last decade has prompted a struggle to build up the infrastructure to support it, but with their four largest airports now doubled in size and plans for construction of 100 more, it’s no surprise that the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is now forecasting that China’s business travel will surpass the U.S. within the next 3 years.
China’s booming business travel is expected to reflect a recovering global economy over the next decade, with Chinese travelers ramping up domestic business travel as well as international outbound travel. Michael W. McCormick, Executive Director and COO of GBTA stated, “We forecast significant increases in business travel by Chinese citizens over the next two years with at least two-thirds of the growth being real increases in trips and spending as opposed to rising travel prices. This should also be accompanied by GDP growth rates of 8-9 percent a year.”
Other interesting statistics from the GBTA’s announcement included:
- China’s business travel spending is expected to increase by 17% in 2012 and 21% in 2013.
- Increased manufacturing, jobs, business formations and infrastructure investment are driving the upswing in business travel.
- China’s GDP is anticipated to increase by 8.2% and 8.9% in 2012 and 2013.
- China is currently ranked second in business travel, but is predicted to surpass the U.S. in 2015, making them the largest business travel spenders in the world.
The report goes on to say that even though China has proved to be remarkably resilient throughout the global economic crisis, there are still some weaknesses that could alter the projected travel numbers. With 50% of its exports shipped to the U.S. and Europe, the European debt crisis will likely continue to impact China’s economy. However, China is responding by diversifying away from reliance on exports.
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