China is on track to overtake the United States as the world’s top business travel market by 2016, according to a new survey by the Global Business Travel Association.
Business travel spending in China has grown in double digits in the past decade. In 2013, Chinese businessmen spent US$225 billion on travel compared with US$32 billion in 2000, an average annual growth rate of 16.2 percent.
China accounts for 23 percent of the world’s business travel spending.
The stellar growth is linked to increased infrastructure investment and a robust export and services sector, according to the survey.
By contrast, travel spending by US businessmen has risen 1.1 percent annually since 2000. Last year, they spent US$274 billion on travel.
Asia Pacific accounts for 38 percent of global business travel, with total spending of US$392 billion last year, an annual growth rate of 7.5 percent since 2000. Western Europe has 24 percent of the world market and North America 21 percent.
The survey forecast that Asia Pacific will make up 43 percent of global business travel spending by 2018.
This year, such spending is expected to hit a record US$1.18 trillion, up 6.9 percent from last year.
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