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The World’s 15 Largest Business Travel Markets Are Growing


Aug 07, 2013 5:10 am

Skift Take

It’s a good sign when business travel is on the rise in developed and growing economies pointing to an overall optimistic economic outlook. The expedited growth of BRIC marketplaces highlights which markets the travel industry will soon be catering to and clamoring for.

— Samantha Shankman

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Robert Galbraith  / Reuters

Airline passengers head to a flight at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California April 22, 2013. Robert Galbraith / Reuters

Business travelers worldwide are expected to spend $1.12 trillion in 2013, a 5.4 percent increase over last year, according to the Global Business Travel Association.

The GBTA is bullish on the future of global business travel spend. It expects annual growth to reach 8.2 percent in 2014 and continue growing at an average of 7.3 percent each year until 2017.

The global growth parallels a slowly rebounding U.S. business travel market, which the GBTA predicted would grow 4.3 percent in 2013.

The U.S. market will play a relatively small part in the rebound of the global business marketplace. Developing economies like China, India, and Brazil currently drive expansion and will soon surpass major economies in business travel spend.

India already surpassed Canada to become the 10th largest business travel market in 2012 and China is expected to overtake the U.S. by 2016.

Business travel marketplaces in China and India are also expected to record double-digit growth between 10.4 and 16.8 percent until 2017. This is radically faster expansion than single-digit growth expectations for the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Germany.

The top 15 business travel markets ranked by 2012 business travel spend are below:

Country 2012 Total Spend (billion) Growth Since 2011 (%)
United States $262 4.4
China $196 13.2
Japan $65.2 -1.2
Germany $50.5 1.1
United Kingdom $40.2 0.1
France $35.7 -2.1
Italy $32.7 -7.5
South Korea $30.5 2.8
Brazil $30.1 9.3
India $22.1 5.8
Canada $22 1.4
Australia $21.1 2.8
Russia $20.4 2.6
Spain $17.9 -8
Netherlands $17.8 -4.5

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