China to become worldwide leader in business travel

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

China to become worldwide leader in business travel

Business travelers in the United States have been affected by the unstable economy, which caused many travel managers to shore up their travel policies. Despite the recent issues with corporate travel in the United States, China is experiencing more business travel than ever.

According to a recent study conducted by the Global Business Travel Association, business travel spending in China is expected to reach $202 billion in 2012, and increase 21 percentage points in 2013 to reach $245 billion.

"Business travel drives the economy and China is no exception," said Welf Ebeling, regional director of the GBTA Asia. "From this report we can see just how explosive this growth is going to be over the next few years. The Chinese recognize how important business travel is and the investments that are being made in vital infrastructure expansion demonstrate that."

While many of the Chinese are concerned about a slowing economy, the country is becoming a leader in the business travel industry. China’s four largest airports - in Beijing, Shanghai-Pudong, Shanghai-Hongqiao and Guangzhou - have all doubled in the size over the past 10 years, while there are plans in development to build roughly 100 new airports around the country in the next decade.

Better airports have made it easier for business travelers to reach China; however, when they arrive, they need a comfortable place to stay. Booking overnight stays in corporate suites can make corporate travel in China more enjoyable. 

"For this reason, we believe it is a most opportune time to have undertaken our first Business Travel Outlook for the country," said Michael McCormick, executive director and chief operating officer of the GBTA. "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."

Supplementing the growth of business travel in China are increases in manufacturing output, trade growth, job gains, business formations and infrastructure investment, as well as GDP growth, retail sales, job growth, exports, profits and sales. 

While the business travel industry may be looking up, a potential problem that could affect business travel between China to Europe is the economic downturn occurring throughout much of Europe.