Chinese companies maintain healthy business travel, MICE outlook

CHINA’s significant growth in GDP continues to steer the progress of the local MICE and business travel industry despite the lacklustre global economy, according to findings from the 8th Annual China Business Travel Barometer.

Commissioned by American Express Global Business Travel, the study surveyed 286 executives from 211 Chinese owned and 65 non-Chinese owned organisations with 100 or more employees in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, between July and August this year.

Results of the study, announced at the 7th Annual China Business Travel Forum which concluded yesterday, revealed that companies’ travel budgets have continued to rise, due to a strong desire to strengthen client/partner relationships and develop business in new markets. RMB72 (US$11.30) out of every RMB100 spent on travel and entertainment expenses is invested in growing and sustaining business.

Chinese companies retain an optimistic outlook on business travel, with an expected average budget hike of six per cent, and fourty-six per cent of companies surveyed saying their budgets would grow in 2012.

MICE budgets have also seen an increase, with thirty per cent of Chinese-owned companies surveyed saying they were likely to have four or more MICE activities a year, compared to only 16 percent of non-Chinese companies.

Meanwhile, despite the rosy outlook, companies in China are starting to pay attention to hotel and accommodation costs (77 per cent), followed by MICE spending (58 per cent), and air travel (53 per cent).

Cindy Zhou, senior buyer, finance & operations services at Roche based in Shanghai, said: “Our budget this year continues to remain around the same as last year, but we are paying close attention to cost; face-to-face meetings are very important for the business still.”

By Patricia Wee

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