How Asian Business Travellers Are Achieving Total World Dominance

Why are Asia-based business travellers the most important business travellers in the world? Because no other group is as influential when it comes to defining when, where, and how business travel trends emerge, grow, and change over time.

And with 38% of the world market share – that’s about $380 billion per year – travel vendors are quickly sitting up and taking notice. Even more incredible is the fact that the Asian business market is growing twice as fast as Europe and four times as fast as North America - no wonder travel companies big and small are asking “What does Asia want?"

Defining the Asian Business Traveller

Asian business travellers are demanding better choices, more convenience, and total independence when it comes to booking business travel. They have more autonomy than ever when it comes to booking travel, which means hotels and airlines are thinking about what individual travellers want – not just what their bosses or companies want.

And what do they want? The answer, in short, is convenience.

Convenience Is King

Beyond luxury accommodations and 5-star service, Asian business travellers prioritize convenience above all else when making travel decisions.

According to a recent study by McKinsey & Company, business travellers from Indonesia to Japan define convenience as…

Instantly accessible Wifi and mobile technology – no matter where they happen to be.

Direct flights that depart and arrive at reasonable times (i.e. no more red eyes).

Hotels that are located close to work sites, meeting locations, and convention halls.

Seamless transportation between airports, hotels, and other travel destinations.

Independence Matters

Another defining quality of the Asian business traveller is the power to book travel independently. Travellers are no longer at the mercy of their boss or corporate booking agent when it comes to making – and changing  - travel arrangements.

Instead, they have more flexibly and freedom than ever to find the flights and hotels that meet their preferences and needs.

But booking online isn’t enough. Asian business travellers also want the freedom to choose which booking apps and platforms they use.

In the McKinsey study, travellers whose companies had their own online booking sites listed those sites as their least favourite way to book travel. Instead, they preferred using third party travel sites and travel agents to find the most convenient flights and best hotels.

Service Trumps Tech, Rewards, and Cost

Of the 2,500 Asian business travellers polled in the McKinsey study, a majority – 34% - listed great customer service as the most important aspect of business travel.

In fact, service was considered more important than having access to the latest tech, more important than earning miles or points, and more important than getting the best deal.


Asian business travellers have become one of the most influential groups in the travel industry. Their needs, wants, and preferences are not just shaping travel trends – they’re informing major business decisions at top-level travel companies all over the world.

Rebecca Anne Nguyen is a freelance writer and travel passionista. She blogs about culture, creativity, and consciousness at