Last updated: 04:21 AM ET, Fri April 22 2016

China Just Spent $1 Billion More Than The US In Business Travel

Business Travel | Gabe Zaldivar | April 21, 2016

China Just Spent $1 Billion More Than The US In Business Travel

Image via Thinkstock

While it’s easy to imagine a flurry of business travelers hopping on airplanes domestically, its wave of corporate adventurers is no match for the industry boon in China.

Global Business Travel Association released its report of two massive markets recently, concentrating on the corporate travel spending produced by the United States and China.

And, spoiler alert, China is in the lead by about $1 billion.

As for the exact figures, GBTA states the U.S. spent $290.2 billion in 2015 while Chinese business road warriors expended wealth to the tune of $291.2 billion.

The intriguing part of the report is the fact that China’s spending and presumed growth over the immediate future is taking place despite a sluggish domestic economy.

Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO, offered thoughts on the shift in spending: “Despite a relative slowdown, China’s business travel market remains one of the fastest growing in the world. China surpassing the United States in business travel spending marks a major inflection point and truly demonstrates the global nature of today’s economy.”

And things will continue as such, according to GBTA. If the figures are to be believed, the chasm will widen as China is destined to spend 10.1 percent more through the course of 2016.

Now American travelers will spend more during the same duration, but growth will be a more modest 1.9 percent.

As for the why, GBTA points to resurgence in business travel relegated to the confines of China.

In fact, a whopping 95 percent of the spending takes place domestically, which is working in tandem with a boon of airports and hotels that are in production.

There remains real concern for China’s overall economic landscape, but growth in this particular industry is doing all it can to infuse growth and vitality.

Not that it’s all that dire, but GBTA does envision a shrinking of business travel spending in 2017, which features an uptick of 9.8 percent.

In the interim Chinese business travelers will continue the arduous work of traversing the massive country, peppering each region with billions in economic vigor.


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