Despite weaker than expected business travel growth in H1 of 2013, the market did expand by 7.5 percent in Q2 of 2013 and is expected to register between 7 percent and 8 percent for the year. Still, the export sector continues to be impacted by weak economic performance in the U.S. and Europe, with export growth being driven mostly by intra-regional trade.
“Our forecast for Chinese business travel remains in line with our outlook published in the first half of 2013,” says Welf J. Ebeling, regional director, GBTA Asia. “Diminished trade activity to and from China, particularly in Europe and North America, has undermined the demand for long-haul business travel. We do, however, see annual growth pushing back towards twenty percent over the next few years.”
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 spending has been driven by domestic and international outbound business travel, particularly among transient and group meetings and events travel.
Domestic travel continues to perform better than international outbound. GBTA expects this trend to continue with domestic travel spending forecasted to grow 14.3 percent in 2013 and another 17.2 percent in 2014. In comparison, international outbound business travel from China has slowed considerably over the last two years. Growth is still likely to reach 12.8 percent in 2013, followed by another 16.5 percent in 2014.