China is world’s biggest business travel market

Blue skies over Beijing

CHINA has surpassed the US to become the world’s leading spenders in business travel.

According to a report by Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), China edged the US at the end of 2015 by a US$1 billion, finishing the year with US$291.2 billion in travel spending.

“Despite a relative slowdown, China’s business travel market remains one of the fastest growing in the world,” said Michael W. McCormick, executive director of GBTA. He adds that the findings indicate the global nature of today’s economy.

The market in China is dominated by domestic travel, which accounts for 95 percent of the country’s total business travel spend.

The study also found that despite the slowing Chinese economy, investment in travel infrastructure is fast growing. Plans are underway to open 82 new airports in China, while 70 percent of hotel construction developments in the Asia-Pacific can be attributed to China.

It is predicted that China will continue to overtake the US in 2016, with the nation’s business travel spend expected to grow by 10 percent to approximately US$320 billion.