According to GBTA’s latest business travel forecast, China accounts for 25 percent of business travel spending. This is a dramatic increase from 2000, when they held just 5 percent of the market. China is now considered the fastest growing business travel market in the world.
China’s Growth To Top Of The Global Business Travel Market
For China, their total business travel spending is expected to reach 9.2 percent, or $317.9 billion by 2016. In 2017, the expected increase is slightly lower at 8.4 percent. Though it is slowing down, this is still a giant leap ahead of the United States. For comparison, in 2017, U.S. business travel spending is expected to reach $293.1 billion. That is a $51.5 billion dollar difference!
The GBTA Executive Director and COO, Michael W. McCormick, stated this is “demonstrating the truly global nature of today’s economy.” He added, “We expect longer-term spending growth to continue to moderate until Chinese policymakers can achieve their goal of rebalancing the economy and diverting resources away from investment and towards consumption.”
China Continues To Ride The Wave
Of this 25 percent growth, much of it came from domestic ventures. They are now setting their sights on global carriers. On top of that, vying for top margin travelers. From Traveller.com.au, flights from the South Pacific and Asia is the strategy to begin with. The industry is already saturated with big hitters like Cathy Pacific, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines. Also standing in their way is the perception left by past safety records.
This will not be an easy battle for China’s airlines, but it’s one that can’t be passed up. According to data from the International Air Transport Association, premium passengers account for only 8 percent of travelers. But, these premium travelers generate close to a third of revenue. To increase their chances, Chinese airlines are stepping up their game in comfort and premium services. Hainan Airlines’ business class, for example, now offers menus by Michelin star chefs, top amenity bags, and comfortable seating. Expect a big push from Chinese markets in the future, but they certainly have a battle ahead of them.
Chirstopherson Business Travel is a travel management company for businesses. With more than 60 years of experience, we focus on travel—so busy professionals don’t have to. Learn how we can save you company time and money on travel by contacting us today.