Business travel skyrockets, supports 292m jobs

Vanessa Bussoletti

The Business Travel sector is set to grow by 3.7 per cent per year over the next decade, according to a new report by Travelport and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

Released at the WTTC Global Summit in Bangkok, the report shows that the fastest growth for the business travel sector is expected in the emerging markets, with Asia-Pacific leading the way at a predicted rate of 6.2 per cent each year to 2027.

The report highlights a top ten list of countries with the strongest forecast annual business travel growth including:

  • In Asia, China leading the way with 9.5 per cent annual growth to 2027, followed by Myanmar (8.7 per cent), Hong Kong (8 per cent), Cambodia (7.4 per cent) and India (7.2 per cent)
  • Rwanda and Gabon (both 8.5 per cent) leading in Africa with Tanzania at 7.9 per cent.

The report highlights data which shows that eight of the top twenty fastest growing business travel destinations have introduced visa improvements which helps sector growth and economic growth.

The largest Business Travel markets are the USA, China, the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan.

The report identifies a number of factors influencing such growth. Business travel is often the driving force in the overall growth in contribution of travel and tourism to national GDP as companies continue to find ways to develop new markets and maximise their revenues.

The report also sussed out the increasing use of technology supporting travellers and travel companies. Travelport research highlights how business travellers want mobile phone alerts and information about disruptions, flight updates and upgrades.

It also draws attention to the need to serve digitally-connected millennials and for the industry to deploy data-driven insights to engage customers more effectively.

The report incorporates White Paper proposals underlining the need for investment in technology and infrastructure, the removal of visa burdens, tackling cyber security and personalising services for travellers.

David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said, “Travel & Tourism generates USD$7.6 trillion in GDP and supports over 292 million jobs. Business travel is a vital part of the sector, and it is a key catalyst for global growth.

“It drives the relationships, investments, supply chains and logistics that support international trade flows.”