China business travel spend set to outpace the United States by 2016


A stronger economy, demand for domestic and outbound business travel, and the sudden trend in group meetings and event travel has resulted in double digit growth on overall business travel by China.

According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) latest results, China’s total forecasted business travel spending will increase by 14.3% by the end of 2013 to $224 billion. Looking ahead for 2014, it is estimated to grow a further 17.2%, twice the rate of the United States.

Interesting thing to note that although tourism and hospitality industry focuses on China’s outbound travel market, which by no means is small (it’s s a $102 billion a year industry), the domestic market is also a big market as well which these global hospitality groups such as hotels like Accor, Wyndham, Hilton and Intercontinental Hotel Group can capitalise.

The strong demand for Chinese investment and trade will also indicate that China’s business travel spending should increase to the point where they will not only continue to close the gap on the United States year on year, but should surpass the U.S. as the world’s most dominant business travel market as early as 2016.

What can this mean for Tourism and Hotel Groups in Australia and New Zealand?

With a booming economy, the rising wealth of middle-class Chinese around the region cities in China and the appetite to travel for business and pleasure, Australian and New Zealand hotel groups can captialise on this.

A few things that will hinder the continual influx of inbound Chinese which includes a stronger currency rate, expensive cost of living (compared to China) and education of value added features.

A few of initiatives that can improve the brand to be friendlier with Chinese consumers are:

  • Website translation in simplified Chinese
  • Accepting Chinese transaction portals like China Union Pay
  • Physical collateral that’s translated and geared towards China
  • Products and services that are akin to Chinese culture e.g. restaurant food menu
  • Key staff that understand and can communicate with Chinese guests
  • Specific content that manages expectation of Chinese inbound guests

They’re just some of the suggestions that can help hotel groups not only for Chinese tourists holidaying in Australia, but also to develop specific MICE packages to attract the Chinese business travel market in this region as well.

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Image source: LA Times      

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About the Author

Andrew Tran is a digital practitioner, avid traveller, blogger, foodie and photographer. With years of experience working in digital media and more recently around Asia and Greater China, Andrew posses skills and industry knowledge to guide any brand through digital and utilising the best tools that’s appropriate and produces the best result for the user in mind