Stats and Trends: China, Sharing Economy on the Rise


GBTA: China Is the World’s Largest Business Travel Market

In industry research, a new report from the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association, shows that China remains one of the fastest growing business travel markets in the world.

Total business travel spending is expected to grow 9.2 percent this year reaching $317.9 billion USD. In 2017, another 8.4 percent increase is expected bringing total Chinese business travel spend to $344.6 billion USD. By comparison, U.S. business travel spending is expected to reach $293.1 billion USD in 2017, a $51.5 billion USD difference, further solidifying China’s new-found position as the largest business travel market in the world, the GBTA said.

China accounts for nearly 25 percent of global business travel spending, up from a 5 percent share in 2000.


The Latest on Business Travel and the Sharing Economy

The sharing economy is continuing to transform business travel, according to two new studies on the subject.

A paper from medical and travel security company International SOS has found that as many as 75 percent of businesses do not have a clear policy in place for staff using sharing economy services, even though half of respondents indicated that their use of shared transport services is likely to grow.

The data is from an International SOS survey conducted among 707 people globally, mainly executives managing business travel or travelers themselves. Research was conducted online in the period April 26 – May 20, 2016.

Additionally, two in five travelers use services like Uber and Airbnb when traveling internationally for business, with 40 percent of travelers reporting that they do not know whether their organization considers such services to be “safe.”

International SOS has released a report on the benefits, risks and legal considerations of using shared transport and accommodation services during business travel, “Share Economy for Business Travel.”

According to a separate report from Concur, the number of business travelers expensing Airbnb accommodations grew 44 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2016. Concur’s analysis is based on a subset of its customer data representing $77 million in Airbnb spend and more than 320,000 Airbnb expenses over eight quarters.

Concur found the number of organizations using Airbnb increased by 32 percent and overall spend increased by 42 percent year-over-year, from Q2 2015 to Q2 2016. The average Airbnb expense was $242, but average cost varied among major U.S. cities.

Major conferences proved to be a driver for Airbnb bookings, according to the Concur report, which saw Airbnb bookings increase dramatically in San Francisco during’s annual Dreamforce conference held in October. In fact, Airbnb usage was six times higher than average during the 2015 Dreamforce conference. Austin is ranked number three in Airbnb spend globally during Q1 of 2015 and 2016, which corresponds with South by Southwest. However, it ranks significantly lower for every other quarter in the two-year window.