China is set to overtake the USA to become the largest corporate travel market according to industry experts. It has been estimated that even considering the slowing of China’s economic growth as a factor of a global easing of growth, business travel and travel relating to meetings is likely to grow steadily over the coming years.
It is estimated that business travel expenditure in China is expected to reach $277bn by 2020, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, With China’s investment in infrastructure, and flow-on effects from the Beijing Olympic Games and a more focused marketing approach, it is suggested that China will become the world’s biggest travel market within three years. With continued spending of about $237billion on airports and infrastructure over the period to 2015, and a further $239billion committed to further develop high-speed rail.
Air travel currently accounts for 85% of business trips within China and lengthening of runways and the opening of secondary airports, are expected to provide better options for business travelers from outside China. A Boeing spokesperson expects China to have an annual average rate of 8.9% over the next 20 years, partly due to the growing internal market, but also through having the capability and resources to compete in the long-haul international market that would require China to invest in enlarging its air fleet over coming years.