September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
The shift of economic power away from the western nations will have profound effects on business travel over the next few years, a leading consultant has warned.
In the keynote address to open the Business Travel & Meetings Show in London, former Financial Times UK business editor John Willman said the BRIC nations – Brazil, Russia, India and China – would be responsible for more than half the Global Domestic Product by 2030.
“Economic power is moving from Europe, North America and Japan,” he said, adding that these nations currently produced around 35% of GDP, with the BRIC countries at 29% and catching up fast.
“Business travel growth is not going to be within Europe or between Europe and North America,” he said. “Increasingly, it is going to be between us and Latin America or Asia and there will be more travel within Asia.”
More direct routes will emerge between the growth areas, such as between China and Latin America, especially to the “Rust Belt” industrial cities in China.
“China is growing so fast it is dragging up Latin America because it makes the food stuffs and other things that China wants.”
Climate change prevention will have an equally profound effect on travel patterns, Willman predicted.
He said accountancy firm KPMG had already cut its business travel kilometres from 148 million in 2007/8 to 111 million in 2008/9 in an attempt to reduce its carbon emissions. Willman said a no taxis policy in London, replacing air travel with train travel within Europe and the installation of a video conferencing suite were responsible for a drastic cut in the company’s carbon footprint. Things like these, he said, would increasingly be adopted by other companies.