China is growing as a business travel market: survey

Business travel policy is a come-on in competitive employment market


By Allie Sanchez

China has overtaken the US as the country with the largest global expenditure on business travel, according to the CITS American Express Global Business Travel, which released its recent 2016 China Business Travel Survey.

According to the survey, average travel and expense (T&E) growth in China reached 4.86% this year, which is consistent with last year’s 4.8% rate.

Meanwhile, the survey also noted that the current focus of businesses on improving travel management to respond to the growth has not only resulted in cost savings and achieving compliance goals, but is supporting human resource development as well.

The top three priorities of enterprises in developing their business travel policies are: employee safety, employee’s mental and physical conditions, and work efficiency of the employee during and after the business trip, also according to the survey.

Nearly 30% of organizations also reported they would consider upgrading their business travel policies in the future to address the needs of their employees, specifically to improve safety measures.

Additionally, 60% of enterprises said they allowed, in varying degrees, the use of sharing economy services, which reflects a 7% growth over last year. This trend indicates that companies are more accommodating of traveller preferences. Sharing of economy solutions for travel and accommodation in business programs is expected to see sustained growth over the next 12 months, with 56% of respondents saying they will adopt shared solutions in the said period.

And as competition for talent in China heats up, the survey revealed that 35% of respondents consider an enterprise’s travel program as a key business driver and point of differentiation among employers, which showed a 15% jump from 2015.

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