Global business travel spending will reach a record $1.18 trillion this year, up nearly 7 percent from 2013, bolstered by growth in China, a U.S. trade group said on Monday. The Global Business Travel Association said it expects China, where business travel spending grew to $225 billion in 2013 from $32 billion in 2000, will top the United States, which is currently the world's top individual market for business travel, by 2016.
Michael McCormick, executive director of the GBTA, said the strength of Asia in business travel reflects China's continued emergence as a financial center. Asia-Pacific constitutes 38 percent of the business travel market, compared with 21 percent for North America and 24 percent for Western Europe, his group said. "The overall economy (in China) continues to grow," McCormick said. "It's the sheer multiplier effect that it has because there is double-digit growth in such a large market."
In the United States, business travel spending rose 4.5 percent to $274 billion in 2013. China, where business travel spending rose 15 percent to $225 billion last year, is currently the second-biggest market. Japan was third with business travel spending of $61 billion in 2013.