Where in the world is business travel going?

As the economic centre of gravity shifts from the West to emerging economies like South East Asia and Latin America, serviced apartment providers are seizing new opportunities to cater for the business travel and global mobility markets.


Passenger numbers to and from China rose by 14 per cent, while Latin America accounted for an 8 per cent rise and the Middle East for a 6 per cent increase.

Other air transit hubs, even relatively quiet ones such as Helsinki-Vantaa, have also seen a significant rise in passenger numbers. In 2015, the number of transit passengers at Helsinki airport increased by 3.1 per cent from the previous year to 2.6 million, as travellers opted to take a northerly route across the globe. Many of these passengers were from the Asian countries, and surveys show that the majority originated from Japan and China.

Business travellers turn to emerging economies

The growing importance of emerging economies and technology hubs to UK-based business travellers was also highlighted in theAmerican Express Global Business Travel Survey.

In the 2015 report, New York continued to top the list of intercontinental destinations, but the survey also highlighted the attention being paid to ‘new’ economies.

“When it comes to international business travel, the US remains a key destination but emerging markets are making headway,” it said.

A number of countries that were previously largely closed to foreign investment are now opening up and taking steps to attract business from overseas. Relations between Cuba and the US have thawed markedly, and the two nations have recently signed a number of trade agreements that will see huge changes in the opportunities available to companies wanting to do business in Cuba.

Two countries that have already seen remarkable economic growth as a result of foreign investment are Vietnam and Mexico. Although politically very different, they are both experiencing rapid economic expansion, and, for now at least, are relatively unfamiliar destinations for relocations.