Lancer Insurance
Friday, March 01, 2024

More good news forecasts from the Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA’s) recent 2023 Business Travel Outlook (also known as BTI). Business travel for Asia Pacific is poised for robust return over the next few years, with a projected $800 billion annually by 2027. This year, the region is expected to hit $567 billion, or 41 percent over 2022, thanks to the full reopening of the Chinese economy after the pandemic. The findings were shared by GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang, who was speaking at the association’s recent APAC Conference in Singapore last week. Neufang will also be a speaker at the State of the Industry at next month’s CD/NLA Show

Suzanne Neufang GBTA GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang

The BTI annual report offers a comprehensive overview of business travel spending and growth across 72 countries and 44 industries and highlights the global business travel spending forecast and key trends for 2023-2027. Additionally, for 2023 the BTI also incorporates insights from a survey of 4,700 business travelers across five global regions including APAC, who reported their preferences, behaviors, spending habits, and the average cost of a business trip now.

Highlights from the 2023 BTI:

  • A solid rebound in other major economies in the region (Japan, South Korea, and Australia) is expected in 2023. Likewise, the return of international business travel has fueled markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.
  • In 2023, the Asia Pacific region is expected to reach 92 percent of its 2019 business travel spending of $616 billion.
  • In 2022, the Asia Pacific region continued to account for the largest share of global business travel spend, totaling $402 billion or 39 percent of the global total. This is down significantly from the region’s 50 percent share of global spending 2021, however.
  • While business travel spending in the rest of the world grew at a rate of 80 percent in 2022, APAC’s spending increased only 15 percent from 2021 levels. The underperformance was fueled by the economic shutdown in China and the subsequent decline of 4.6 percent in Chinese business travel spending last year.

Additional data collected by GBTA:

  • Goldilocks Spending: In a GBTA survey, Asia Pacific business travelers said on average they spent $1,038 per trip last year, less per trip than North American travelers ($1,219), but more than Europe travelers ($888) and Latin American travelers ($661).
  • Booking: One-quarter of APAC-based business travelers (25 percent) say they booked their last work trip through “managed” channels (i.e., travel management company or online booking tool). While higher than the share of LATAM-based travelers (19 percent) who did so, this is slightly lower than the share of NORAM (29 percent) and Europe-based travelers (32 percent). Similarly, APAC and LATAM travelers are more likely to book through retail channels.
  • Upgrades: Of the APAC business travelers who took an airplane on their last work trip, two in five (40 percent) flew business class or first class. This is similar to the share of NORAM-based travelers (44 percent) who flew premium, but higher than the share of Europe-based (30 percent) or LATAM-based travelers (32 percent) who did so. Similarly, almost two in five APAC-based business travelers (38 percent) stayed at an upscale or luxury hotel on their last work trip. This is similar to the share of NORAM-based travelers who did so (42 percent), and higher than the share of Europe-based (32 percent) and LATAM-based (24 percent) travelers.
  • Bleisure It Is: Almost half of APAC-based business travelers (45 percent) extended a work trip for leisure time this year or last year. This is higher than the share of travelers who took a blended trip in any other region.

The full BTI is available to members via the GBTA Hub, although an Executive Summary of the report is available here.

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