GBTA Forecasts Global Business Travel Spend to Reach $1.6 Trillion by 2020
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Global business travel spend is at an all-time high and only climbing.
The figure topped a record-breaking $1.2 trillion last year and is expected to reach $1.6 trillion in 2020, according to the Global Business Travel Association's (GBTA) latest BTI Outlook - Annual Global Report & Forecast.
"While overall growth has remained steady despite global uncertainties, signs are good for a solid end to the decade as we approach 2020," said Visa, Inc's vice president of Global Business Solutions David Henstock in a statement accompanying last month's report.
Visa, Inc sponsored the report.
"Business travel has continued to evolve as the world is becoming more connected, and the transition to electronic payments will help businesses reduce costs and pay for travel expenses more efficiently," added Henstock.
The report shows that global spending on business travel jumped by five percent from 2014 to 2015 and is expected to reach $1.3 trillion in 2016.
"Global business travel remains a critical driver of the success of organizations around the globe," said GBTA executive director and COO Michael McCormick in a statement. "Business travel has demonstrated a tremendous resiliency as it continues slow and steady progress even in the face of global uncertainty, a weakened global economy, terrorist attacks, world health issues and other obstacles."
China surpassed the U.S. as the largest market for business travel spend in 2015, reaching $291 billion. Trailing China and the U.S. ($289 billion) were Germany, Japan and the U.K., which recorded a combined $172 billion in business travel spend last year.
Looking ahead, the GBTA's forecast projects India — which ranked 10th worldwide in business travel spend in 2015 — and Indonesia to experience the most growth over the next five years, with both averaging double-digit growth.
Meanwhile, China, which has been on average the fastest growing market over the past decade-plus, is expected to fall off somewhat, becoming the fifth-fastest growing market over the next five years. Nonetheless it will continue to set the pace given its size.
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