China is now the world's fourth-largest
business-travel source market, with spending of $7.4 billion on air
travel alone in 2005. That number is expected to continue growing,
largely driven by business travel within China's own borders.
Those are among
the findings of the American Express Business Travel's China
Business Travel Survey, known as the Barometer. Released last week
at the second American Express China Business Travel Forum in
Shanghai, the Barometer reported that 28% of surveyed companies had
increased T&E expenditures this year and that 87% of that hike
had occurred in China and Hong Kong.
travel market ranked fourth after the U.S., Japan and
The report also
provided insights into evolving purchasing practices within
increasing efforts to manage travel spending, as evidenced by the
growing number of negotiated rates with suppliers, up 20% from
2004. In addition, 70% of survey respondents reported having a
T&E policy, up 15% from 2005.
compliance is low. The Barometer reported that only 28% of
organizations comply with more half of their T&E policies, and
more than half of respondents had no controls in place.
Only a third of
respondents used a travel agency, while 37% used the Internet for
booking and more than half said they were not planning to implement
an online tool.
For 73% of
travelers, reimbursement of cash receipts was still the main method
of expense payment.
About a third of
organizations said their T&E spending would rise in the next 12
months. The domestic market will continue to be the prime driver,
due to continued rapid business development in China.
This is the third
business travel survey conducted by American Express in China.
Between May and September this year, interviews were conducted with
200 Chinese- and foreign-owned organizations in Beijing, Guangzhou
and Shanghai with 100 or more employees.
Business Travel Forum was hosted by American Express Business
Travel and the Shanghai International Conference Management
To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail
to Nadine Godwin at [email protected].