Where are the world's biggest business travel spenders? America has held the title for years, but a new report from the Global Business Travel Association says China is poised to take the lead by 2015.
This news should come as no surprise to travelers, or the China landscape. China has seen the most hotel growth than any other country over the past five years, and plans for more hotels are on the rise - many opening daily in China's biggest business capitals.
The GBTA, a trade group for the world's business travel managers, found U.S. businesses spent an estimated $250 billion on business travel in 2011, while Chinese businesses spent $182 billion.
The GBTA report predicts that Chinese business travel spending will surge by 17% in 2012 to $202 billion and 21% in 2013 to $245 billion. At such a fast pace, the growth rate will be enough to surpass the U.S. in business travel dollars spent by 2015.
Other highlights from the study include:
- Over the last 10 years the country's four largest airports (Beijing / Shanghai-Pudong / Shanghai-Hongqiao and Guangzhou) have doubled in size. Plans are in place for approximately 100 new airports in the next 10 years.
- Nearly 100 new hotels are planned to open over the next 10 years.
- Growth in international outbound travel spending is expected to be particularly strong, rising by 27 percent in 2013.â€¨
"With China on a robust upward trajectory in business travel spending, they are quickly becoming a world leader in the business travel market," said Michael W. McCormick, executive director and COO of GBTA, in a statement.
"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."â€¨Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com