Emerging markets outpacing Europe in business travel growth

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Emerging markets outpacing Europe in business travel growth

For shrewd investors, emerging markets such as those in Asia and the Middle East represent unprecedented growth opportunities. As lingering economic uncertainty in North America and Europe continues to worry executives, other financial centers, such as Abu Dhabi, are thriving, according to AME Info.

Unrivaled opportunity
Abu Dhabi was recently voted the world's best business city by Globe Traveler, one of the leading business travel publications in the U.S. The magazine polled more than 25,000 executives to arrive at its conclusion. Abu Dhabi is the largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and joins other notable destinations such as Bangkok, Barcelona and Istanbul as top destinations for business travel.

"While an impressive portfolio of leisure-based product has enhanced Abu Dhabi's visitor proposition in recent years, catering to the international business community has always been the destination's forte," said Mubarak Al Nuami, international promotions manager for the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, as quoted by the news source. "The U.S. is a key source market for the emirate and awards of this nature only help build awareness of Abu Dhabi's multi-faceted offering as a world-class destination of distinction."

As the economy of Abu Dhabi continues to perform strongly in light of prolonged financial uncertainties in other parts of the world, property developers may soon begin to capitalize on the emirate's growth. While luxury chain hotels are typically the primary means of accommodation in the UAE, the region's financial stability may result in an increase in the number of corporate apartments and serviced housing units available in the coming years.

Lasting difficulties
While the Middle East continues to thrive economically, many European countries have not fared as well. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, fiscal austerity measures in certain Eastern European countries such as the Czech Republic, and the resulting decline in state-run airline service, are hurting the business sector's chances of recovery.

Many state-owned carriers in countries such as Germany, Switzerland and Bulgaria have been forced to eliminate service along key routes due to reductions in government spending and a lack of international investment. Not only does this harm the airlines' financial outlook, it also makes it harder for business travelers to reach certain destinations.

Several analysts in the aviation industry blame irresponsible governmental oversight as a primary factor in the collapse of state-run carriers, including Hungarian airline Malev Zrt.