Based on “an improving economy, steady profits and hikes in business investment,” the Global Business Travel Association is predicting business-travel spending will increase 7.2 percent to $288.8 billion in 2014, according to NBC News.
The number of business trips declined this year, but it is expected to increase by 1.6 percent next year. Hmm, 1.6 percent growth in volume but a 7.2 percent growth in revenue…The report projects North American airfares will “decline in 2014 as a result of heightened competition from low-cost carriers, challenging unemployment levels and corporate travel policies becoming more stringent in regard to business-class travel.” But it allows that “pending consolidation among major U.S. airlines may offset these expected declines.”
As China grows, so does how much the country’s inhabitants travel, especially when it comes to business travel.
While the United States has lead the pack in terms of spending on business travel, Americans are about to be overtaken by the Chinese: by 2016 China will have the world’s largest business travel market, according to Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).
What does that mean?
For one, China will have to grow its airports. Several airports already have had to double or triple their capacity, and over the next decade China is planning to build about 100 new airports. Because of the growth in travel within China, next year Beijing Capital International Airport is to surpass Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as the world’s busiest airport.
Secondly, other surrounding countries like Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong can expect to benefit, as 95 percent of the travel will stay within Asia.
As business travel grows in China, the rest of the world will have to watch and see how the country deals with it. As Joe Bates, vice president of research at GBTA, told the Los Angeles Times, “the real question is can they keep up with the demand.”