Chinese companies more confident about business travel

31 per cent of companies expect travel budgets to rise over the next year, up from 17 per cent

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 April, 2018, 7:47pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 April, 2018, 7:47pm

Business travel is expected to grow as Chinese companies see the importance of face-to-face contacts with their clients and because of the business opportunities brought by the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI), according to the China Business Travel Survey 2017 released by the CITS American Express Global Business Travel.

The survey indicates that 31 per cent of Chinese companies expect travel budgets to rise over the next year. Only 17 per cent predicted budget increases a year earlier.

Forty per cent of organisations have reported plans to expand budgets because of opportunities from the trade initiative. China overtook the United States in 2016 as the country with the largest business travel expenditure. Although domestic travel accounted for 75 per cent of China’s business travel spend, growth in global commerce is expected to boost international business travel. Chinese organisations with an international travel programme (43 per cent of companies) and those with a regional programme (21 per cent) are also expected to benefit.

The report highlights the importance of business travel as a key driver of revenue for many Chinese organisations, with 90 per cent reporting that more face-to-face contacts with their clients overseas is likely to increase revenue. More than half the respondents (53 per cent) believe an increase in client-related travel would improve overall revenue by 10-20 per cent. Developing new business relationships and maintaining existing clients were among the top reasons for business travel.

Forty-six per cent of respondents say better management could save their company 10-20 per cent of their total travel budget.