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China to top as business travel market by 2015: GBTA
A released report says that China is predicted to be the top one business travel market by 2015.
CHINA is predicted to overtake the US to be the number one market for business travel by next year, according to the latest GBTA BTI Outlook's China report.
The report projects that closely in line with GBTA's 2H2013 outlook, China's total business travel spending will grow 16.5 per cent this year – more than double the rate of the country's GDP growth.
This is despite China's recent announcement of 4Q2013 and full year GDP growth at 7.7 per cent, which painted a picture of slow (by China standards) but steady growth.
Throughout 2015, GBTA expects business travel spending to continue to pick up pace, expanding 17.8 per cent to US$309 billion.
The surge in Chinese business travel spending is driven by both domestic and international outbound travel with domestic being the main driver, making up nearly 95 per cent of the total.
Given GBTA's current projected growth in business travel in the two markets, China is expected to surpass the US in spending as early as next year.
China's business travel market represents roughly 20 per cent of the global business travel market, up from 5.1 per cent in 2000, and total business travel spending grew by more than 16 per cent per year over this period.
GBTA Asia regional director, Welf J Ebeling, said,"The growth in China's economy has been unprecedented, propelling the country's business travel market to the second largest market in the world driven by real spending gains from rising business travel demand in both transient and group meetings and events.
"Even facing headwinds as of late due to restrictions on spending in the public sector, domestic business travel spending continues to grow, and international outbound also shows some promising signs of growth thanks to China's improving export performance and improved economic performance among China's key trading partners – the US and Europe."
In line with the report's findings, Visa China country manager, Jeff Liao, said: "We're seeing an increase in the number of corporate cards being issued to meet the needs of business travellers from China.
"As they adapt to the increasing amount of travel, organisations are finding electronic payments easier to track for expense purposes and it's also a more flexible way for employees to pay for travel-related expenses wherever they may be in the world."
  Source: TTG mice

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