The rise and rise of Chinese influence in business was apparent today, with new research from the Global Business Travel Association showing that China is set to become the world’s biggest market for business travel within three years.
The association’s Business Travel Index (BTI) is forecasting that corporate travel spending in China will rise by 17 per cent to $202 billion this year and by another 21 per cent to $245 billion in the following year.
China is currently ranked second behind the US in terms of business travel spending with a total of $182 billion in 2011 compared to $250 billion in the US. The UK is ranked fourth globally for travel spending at $38 billion with Japan in third position at $65 billion.
Michael McCormick, GBTA chief operating officer, said: “With China on a robust upward trajectory in business travel spending, they are quickly becoming a world leader in the business travel market.
“China’s phenomenal economic growth over the last decade has been mirrored in business travel which is now a key contributor to, and benefactor from, the country’s expansion.
“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 per cent a year.”
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