In a promising turn of events post-pandemic, the Asia Pacific business travel sector is set for substantial growth in 2023 and beyond. According to forecasts from the 2023 GBTA Business Travel Outlook (BTI), travel spending in the region is expected to surge by 41%, reaching USD $567 billion this year and projected to escalate to $800 billion by 2027.
Key drivers for this growth include China’s reopening and a surge in domestic demand, acting as catalysts for the region’s recovery. The positive trend extends beyond China, with solid rebounds anticipated in major economies such as Japan, South Korea, and Australia. The revival of international business travel is also expected to boost markets in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.
Catherine Logan, GBTA Regional Senior Vice President for EMEA and APAC, emphasized the industry’s positive response, stating, “The growth and opportunities ahead in the APAC business travel sector are reflected in our regional spending forecast.”
The BTI report not only provides comprehensive regional forecasts but also incorporates insights from a survey of 4,700 business travelers across five global regions, including the Asia Pacific. The survey reveals that while APAC business travelers may spend less per trip overall, they tend to allocate a higher proportion to food and beverage, hotel expenses, and premium options, showcasing a preference for quality and blended travel experiences.
Among the highlights from the BTI Outlook:
- A significant 41% rebound in business travel spending to $567 billion in 2023.
- Anticipation of a solid rebound in major economies like Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
- The Asia Pacific region is expected to reach 92% of its 2019 business travel spending in 2023.
- In 2022, the region accounted for 39% of global business travel spend, down from 50% in 2021.
- While global business travel spending grew by 80% in 2022, APAC’s spending increased by 15%, impacted by the economic shutdown in China.
The report also sheds light on the spending habits of APAC-based business travelers:
- Average spending of $1,038 per trip, falling between North American ($1,219) and European ($888) counterparts.
- Food and beverage expenses account for a significant 21% of per-trip cost in APAC.
- A quarter of APAC-based travelers booked through managed channels, and 45% extended work trips for leisure.
The recent GBTA APAC Conference in Singapore, co-located with the Worldwide ERC Global Mobility Summit, drew more than 600 attendees, showcasing exceptional networking and a keen interest in industry insights. The success has prompted the announcement of the third APAC Conference in Singapore, scheduled for May 13-14, 2024.