What’s behind GBTA’s predicted rise in global business travel spending?

What’s behind GBTA’s predicted rise in global business travel spending?

Released today with the start of GBTA Convention 2015, the GBTA BTI™ Outlook Annual Global Report & Forecast suggests business travel spending around the world is poised to take off. In fact, global business travel spending will reach a record $1.25 trillion in 2015 alone. While the Certify team is currently in Orlando as an exhibitor at GBTA, we thought it would be interesting to dive into the new report to assess what these spending trends could mean for the average business traveler.

Conducted by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association, the BTI Outlook study details business travel spending in 75 countries across 48 industries over a 15-year period and includes a rolling five-year projection of spend. Here are the major findings from this year’s report:

1. Growth around the globe
All but two of the top 15 global business travel markets showed small to strong overall spending growth in 2014, with China experiencing the greatest growth at +16.6%. While spending in Russia and Netherlands dropped, -6.7% and -1.7% respectively, it does not appear the decline is part of a sustained downward trend. Spending is on the rise in countries throughout the world, and in the case of Russia, the political tensions and economic sanctions of the past few years are no doubt contributing factors that could soon be reversed.

2. U.S. continues to lead the way
The U.S. continues to top the global list with more than $288 billion in business travel spending for 2014. And China is fast approaching U.S. spending levels with just over $261 billion. However, as long as the U.S. remains at number one we can expect that more U.S.-based business travel trends will also grow in markets throughout the world. Consider the increase in business traveler preference for ground transportation alternatives and other sharing economy services in cities across the U.S. So, how exactly do you say “Uber” in Hindi?

3. And speaking of new languages …
Set to increase by 61 percent, China’s projected growth in spending over the next 5 years is greater than that of the next 8 largest countries combined. China is a massive part of the global economy, and cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong have long been among the worlds’ most lucrative business markets. As China continues to expand its reach, expected growth from $261 billion today to $420 billion in 2019 will likely come at the expense of others. Meaning once common business trips to places like London, for example, may soon require an entirely new destination (and phrase book).

4. India is (likely) the next big thing
The GBTA BTI report identified India as the country with the greatest potential for breakout growth. In 2014, India had $26 billion in business travel spending, a figure that is expected to swell to $45 billion by 2019. Currently ranked tenth among the top 15 largest business travel markets, India will likely become a top-five market for business travel spending by 2030 according to the study. To put that figure in context, the current top-five countries for business travel spending are U.S., China, Japan, U.K. and France.

5. Emerging markets for business travel
Looking beyond traditional global powerhouse countries or economic blocs like Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRICs), the GBTA report identified five up and coming business travel markets.
These new emerging markets—Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland and Turkey—were selected based on the recent rapid economic growth each has experienced. GBTA believes growth will continue and that these five countries are poised to become increasingly popular destinations for business travelers of the future.

Our thanks to everyone at GBTA and the GBTA Foundation for their hard work on this very valuable report. And if you also happen to be in Orlando right now for GBTA Convention 2015, please stop by booth #400 and meet the team from Certify. Hope to see you there!