China is the largest market for business travel and their share of the global spend is growing every year. According to the GBTA Foundation’s latest business travel forecast, China remains one of the fastest growing business travel markets in the world. Total business travel spending is expected to grow 9.2% this year reaching $317.9 billion. In 2017, another 8.4% increase is expected bringing total Chinese business travel spend to $344.6 billion. In the travel industry this trend is now called the China Factor as it is changing pretty much everything in the world of travel.
By comparison U.S. business travel spending is expected to reach $293.1 billion in 2017, nearly $51.5 billion less. this gap only further solidifies China’s newfound position as the largest business travel market in the world. China now accounts for nearly 25% of global business travel spending, up dramatically from only a 5% share in 2000.
All of this growth in business travel is also fueling many spinoff benefit including providing big opportunities for the airline industry. According to the International Air Transport Association China will overtake the U.S. to become the world’s largest aviation market by passengers in 2024. The number of people flying to, from and within China is projected to nearly double to 927 million by 2025 (up from 487 million last year) and it will reach 1.3 billion by 2035.
In comparison, the number of U.S. passengers is estimated to reach 904 million by 2025, up from 657 million last year. Global passenger travel is predicted to surge, with most of that growth coming from the Asia-Pacific region as economies expand and more people can afford to fly. Boeing, the world’s biggest aircraft manufacturer, expects the Asia-Pacific region will need more than 15,000 new planes and more than half a million new pilots and technicians over the next 20 years as economic growth boosts air travel.
This is why airlines, airplane manufacturers, hotels and more see China and Asia as the future of the global travel industry. These whopping numbers are why the global travel industry is obsessed with China and why every travel exec is focused on the China Factor.