GBTA publishes the results of its fourth GBTA BTI™ Outlook – China 2013 H2 report. The GBTA commissioned Rockport Analytics, LLC to create a semi-annual business travel outlook for China. Sponsored by Visa, it provides insights for corporate travel professionals and the broader business community into both short- and long-term trends in Chinese domestic and international outbound business travel activity.
• After expanding by 7.5% in Q2 of 2013, China’s economic growth has consolidated, and is expected to register between 7% and 8% for the full 2013 year.
• The Chinese authorities remain committed to rebalancing the economy to stimulate domestic investment and consumer demand. The export sector continues to be impacted by weak economic performance in the US and Europe, with export growth being driven mostly by intraregional trade.
• Despite weaker than expected business travel growth in H1 of 2013, China should surpass the U.S. as the world’s most dominant business travel market as early as 2016.
• China’s total business travel spending is forecast to increase by 14.3% in 2013 to $224 billion (RMB1,371 billion). The projected expansion of 17.2% in 2014 is more than twice the rate of the U.S.
• Domestic business travel continues to outperform international outbound (IOB). In 2013, domestic travel spend should grow 14.3%, followed by another 17.2% in 2014.
• Growth in IOB has been revised slightly downward in 2013, with forecast growth of 12.8%, followed by a stronger than previously expected 16.5% in 2014.
• Beijing Capital International airport is set to surpass longstanding incumbent, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, as the world’s busiest airport.
China is growing its business travel market faster than any other nation, and continues to close the gap on the U.S. as the largest business travel economy in the world. The surge in Chinese business travel spend has been driven by domestic and international outbound business travel, with expansion noted for both transient and group meetings and events travel. GBTA expects total spending on Chinese-originated business travel to grow 14.3% in 2013, to $224 billion (¥1,371 billion) – down from the 15.1% forecast in our 2013H1 report. In 2014, total business travel spend growth should reach 17.2%, slightly up on the 16.9% previously projected.
Domestic travel continues to perform better than international outbound. GBTA expects this trend to continue with domestic travel spend forecast to grow 14.3% in 2013, and another 17.2% in 2014. In comparison, international outbound business travel from China has slowed considerably over the last two years. Growth is likely to reach 12.8% in 2013, followed by another 16.5% in 2014 – though continued weakness in global key export markets means these figure are well down on the surging IOB growth witnessed during the first decade of the millennium.