GBTA Predicts 2015 Global Biz Travel Spend To Top $1.25 Trillion

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The GBTA Foundation predicts that global business travel spending will hit a record USD 1.25 trillion in 2015, representing 6.5% year-over-year growth.


The research arm of the Global Business Travel Association says growth will remain strong through 2019, with business travel projected to grow 6.9% in 2016, 6.0% in 2017, 6.4% in 2018 and 5.8% in 2019.


Fuelling that growth will be China. Despite recent economic turbulence, Chinese business travel is forecast to increase by 61% over the next 5 years, from $261 billion in 2014 to $420 billion in 2019. That increase is greater than the forecasted growth in the next 8 largest countries combined, including the U.S., Germany, India, U.K., Indonesia, France, Turkey and Japan.


The findings are part of an annual travel forecast released at GBTA Convention 2015, which details business travel spending in 75 countries across 48 industries over 15 years, including a rolling 5 year projection.


“Despite recent economic speed bumps, China will pull away as the global leader in business travel over the next 5 years,” said GBTA Executive Director & COO Michael W. McCormick.


The study revealed that the large majority of business travel spending remains concentrated in a few dominant markets. In fact, over 2/3 of total business travel spending continues to occur in the U.S., China and Western Europe. Currently Asia Pacific owns the largest share of the business travel spend market with 39% followed by North America with 27% and Western Europe with 24%.


GBTA expects that by 2019, Asia Pacific will have gained another 3.5 percentage points in market share, while the U.S. and Western Europe will lose 2.7 percentage points and 0.6 percentage points, respectively.

“On the horizon, we’ve identified 5 nations that are also seeing extraordinary growth and could very well turn into the business travel markets of the future,” add McCormick. “Another market to watch is India, which is statistically where China was 15 years ago.” 


·      More than any other country, India is poised for breakout growth. In 2014, India had $26 billion in business travel spending, which will grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR)of 11.5% through 2019 to $45 billion. 15 years from now, India will likely be a top 5 market in business travel spending.


The 5 newly emerging markets identified by the GBTA Foundation are often overlooked because they aren’t as large as the traditional powers or the BRIC markets. Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland and Turkey are seen as the business travel markets of the future.


Meanwhile, travellers in North America spent $318 billion on business travel in 2014, with 90% coming from the U.S., while Mexico and Canada generated the remaining 10%. Mexico is projected to be the most robust business travel market in North America over the next 5 years, projected to grow at 7.7% CAGR over that period.

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