US cities dominate business travel to Australia: AMEX GBT

Six of the top 10 cities outside of Asia-Pacific which are travelling to Australia for business are US cities, according to data from American Express Global Business Travel (GBT).

Australia’s strong business ties to the US, particularly San Francisco and New York, continue to remain a key travel driver. In addition a weaker Australian dollar has increased tourism to Australia and resulted in greater connectivity, further enabling business travel.

The travel destination data, which encompasses all air bookings made globally through American Express GBT between March 2016 and February 2017 for travel to Australia, provides a robust snapshot of business travel flows into the country. Singapore remains the top city of origin within Asia-Pacific, and London outside the region. The Singapore, Auckland and Hong Kong ranking’s as the top three origins for business travel mirror perfectly with Australia’s outbound business travel destinations.

“Amid all the commentary regarding the impact of US and UK politics and changes in regulations, there has not been a noticeable impact on business travel between the US and Australia,” said Jo Sully, vice president and general manager, American Express GBT, Australia.

“Considering the high number of multinational organisations operating in Australia, the need for travel between the US and Australia is unlikely to be affected in any meaningful way in the immediate future. We have, however, seen a greater demand for up-to-the-minute information from companies as they navigate through changing regulations and policies”.

“That being said, it will be interesting to see how current global political conditions impact international business travel related to meetings and events. When large groups are required to travel for a conference or other large-scale event, issues such as the recent travel bans and electronic devices bans in the US may drive people to consider alternative destinations. If Australia continues to position itself as a welcome destination for business travellers, there is scope for us to benefit from a rise in meetings and events spend and business traveller tourism dollars.”

Asia-Pacific remains the focus
Cities within APAC make up the majority of the top 10 visiting Australia for business, with proximity playing a factor. Unsurprisingly, London is the highest ranked destination outside of APAC, followed by New York. New Zealand and Australia maintain traditional business links, with particular demand coming from the technology, services and consulting sectors. These sectors also feature heavily in travel between Australia and Hong Kong, in addition to the financial services sector.

US to Australia business ties remain strong
North American cities dominate the top 10 rankings beyond Asia-Pacific, with New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco the top three US cities visiting Australia. London, Paris, Amsterdam and Dubai comprise the remaining cities in the top 10 outside of Asia-Pacific.

Singapore leads Asia-Pacific
Consistent with the outbound business travel data from Australia, Singapore, Auckland and Hong Kong remain unchanged as the top three cities for inbound business travel. Shanghai is ranked sixth for business travel to Australia, however since China has become the biggest business travel country in the world, it is likely that international travel spend will rise which could positively affect its place in future rankings.

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