GBTA says APAC travel spending to soar 41 pc to USD 567 bn in 2023

Strong rebound expected in Japan, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong & Malaysia
/ New Delhi
FCM Travel
GBTA says APAC travel spending to soar 41 pc to USD 567 bn in 2023

GBTA Business Travel Outlook report says that travel spending will rise by 41 pc to USD 567 billion in 2023, and to USD 800 billion by 2027

GBTA’s Business Travel Outlook (BTI) report reveals travel spending will soar 41 pc to USD 567 bn in 2023 to reach USD 800 billion by 2027. Japan, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia are expected to be the leading players in APAC.
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Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) latest outlook forecasts that business travel in Asia Pacific (APAC) is poised for significant growth for 2023 and beyond.

According to the GBTA Business Travel Outlook (BTI) report, travel spending will rise by 41 pc to USD 567 billion in 2023, and to USD 800 billion by 2027. It says that China’s reopening and robust domestic demand will be a big catalyst for the growth. Solid rebound is also anticipated in Japan, South Korea, and Australia​, along with the return of international business travel, which is anticipated to boost Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia​.

According to the statement, the BTI report has collated insights from a survey of 4,700 business travellers across five global regions including APAC, who reported their preferences, behaviours, spending habits and the average cost of a business trip now.

Catherine Logan

Catherine Logan

“The growth and opportunities ahead in the APAC business travel sector are reflected in our regional spending forecast but could also be seen by the tremendous response and engagement this week among the delegates and partners attending our sold-out GBTA conference, the second event we’ve held in APAC. We are grateful for all who made it possible including our newly formed GBTA APAC Advisory Board, conference presenters, sponsors, volunteers, and the APAC business travel community,” says Catherine Logan, GBTA Regional Senior Vice President for EMEA and APAC.

The report suggests that the Asia Pacific region is expected to reach 92 pc of its 2019 business travel spending of USD 616 billion in 2023.​ While business travel spending in the rest of the world grew at a rate of 80 pc in 2022, APAC’s spending increased only 15 pc from 2021 levels. The underperformance was fueled by the economic shutdown in China and the subsequent decline of 4.6 pc in Chinese business travel spending last year. ​

In the survey, Asia Pacific business travellers said on average they spent USD 1,038 per trip last year, less per trip than North American travellers’ USD 1,219, but more than Europe travellers’ USD 888 and Latin American travellers’ USD 661.

The survey adds that food and beverage expenses account for a larger share of per-trip cost in APAC at 21 pc than any other region including Latin American (LATAM) at 17 pc, North American (NORAM) at 17 pc and Europe at 18 pc.

The statement says that air travel accounts for a similar share of per-trip cost in APAC with 16 pc and Europe at 17 pc. However, it accounts for a higher percentage in NORAM with 21 pc and LATAM at 26 pc where employees likely travel further distances on business trips, especially international trips. Lodging represents the highest percentage of per-trip spending in all four regions. However, the percentage is lower in APAC accounting for 32 pc than NORAM at 40 pc, LATAM at 40 pc and Europe 41 pc.​

According to the survey, 25 pc of APAC-based business travellers say they booked their last work trip through ‘managed’ channels, travel management company or online booking tool. While higher than the share of LATAM-based travellers, accounting for 19 pc, this is slightly lower than the share of NORAM at 29 pc and Europe-based travellers at 32 pc. Similarly, APAC and LATAM travellers are more likely to book through retail channels.​

The report says that APAC business travellers commonly fly premium. Of the APAC business travellers who took an aeroplane on their last work trip, two in five, accounting for 40 pc flew business class or first class. This is similar to the share of NORAM-based travellers, accounting for 44 pc who flew premium, but higher than the share of Europe-based, at 30 pc, or LATAM-based travellers, at 32 pc, who did so.​

Similarly, almost two in five APAC-based business travellers accounting for 38 pc, stayed at an upscale or luxury hotel on their last work trip. This is similar to the share of NORAM-based travellers who did so, about 42 pc, and higher than the share of Europe-based, at 32 pc and LATAM-based 24 pc travellers.​

The report adds that almost half of APAC-based business travellers, about 45 pc, extended a work trip for leisure time this year or last year. This is higher than the share of travellers who took a blended trip in any other region.​ It says that 70 pc are now travelling the same or more than they did in 2019, with 81 pc reporting business travel is worthwhile for them to achieve their business objectives.

GBTA says that today’s business traveller in APAC may spend less overall per business trip but may index higher on food and beverage and hotel expenses as well as the desire for more premium options and bleisure travel than their fellow corporate travellers in other global regions.

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