Technological advancements and rising labor costs will help China's booming corporate travel industry to become more intelligent, diversified and customized.
According to the 2017 China Corporate Travel Market Analysis Report, the size of the corporate travel market in the country reached RMB 158.7 billion (USD 24.3 billion) in 2017, up 8.4% from a year earlier. It is expected to grow by 9.6% year-on-year to RMB 174 billion (USD 26.7 billion) in 2018, said the report complied by Ctrip Corporate Travel Management.
About 65% of the Chinese small- and medium-sized enterprises made reservations on mobile devices last year. Reservations made via smartphone applications took up 60% of the total orders last year in China.
Sharing economy service providers such as Didi Chuxing and Airbnb have also become increasingly popular among business travelers. Therefore, travel management companies should diversify their services to keep in tune with the latest market demand.
China overtook the United States to become the world's largest corporate travel market in 2016 with its size reaching RMB 146.5 billion yuan. Food processing, public utilities and construction were the top three industries with the biggest budgets for business travel.
Popular domestic business travel destinations include Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen, while overseas locations included Tokyo, Seoul and Paris.
Over the past three years, the top five industry leaders only took up 17.5% of the total market share, while the number is over 50% in mature markets, said Fang Jiqin, chief executive officer of Ctrip Corporate Travel.
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