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Cost savings is top corporate travel priority for Chinese firms

06/24/2014| 2:42:07 PM|

Slowing growth rate in the Chinese economy is giving rise to calls for more structured corporate travel management in order to obtain better cost savings.

This is according to HRG’s China Travel Trends Report released last week which said more Chinese companies are now opting to use online booking tools and company credit cards.

Commenting on the change, HRG China’s general manager, Yates Fei, said: “The corporate travel market has evolved rapidly in the past decade in the world’s second largest economy and fastest growing market.

“We have seen change in every part of the business – service configurations are moving away from on-site to off-site dedicated team set-up, the classic travel management model has evolved into the widespread deployment of online booking tools, invoice payment now employs various credit platforms, simple air spend management now includes the management of all T&E expenses, and simple relationship management is now a more value/objectives-focused business management.”

According to the report, the top five priorities for China-based multinational companies are: cost savings; standardisation of management; data management, traveller security; and alternatives to travel.

Said Fei: “China is currently experiencing a slower growth rate overall however, this is leading to an increase in demand for structured corporate travel management with more companies opting to use online booking tools and introducing company credit cards as they realise the vast benefits of doing so, especially controlling travel and related expenditure costs. Our clients, during this period, remain cautious and look to us to help optimise their travel programme.”

Despite cost savings being the top priority, companies studied were optimistic about China’s future economic developments and have committed to increasing expenditure in corporate travel.

They also said they would maintain or increase manpower in 2015 to meet increasing labour demands and economic growth.

Chinese corporate travel spend was US$223.5 billion in 2013, a figure that is expected to balloon 16.5 per cent in 2014 or double the increase of China’s GDP growth.

Current projections have forecast China’s travel market expenditure to hit US$309 by 2015. 

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TAGS: corporate travel management | Chinese tourism
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