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Travel Management

 May 01, 2009
FCm Travel Solutions Expands Company-Owned Operations In China

 FCm Travel Solutions has bolstered its equity operations in Mainland China after becoming one of the first foreign-owned travel companies to establish a wholly-owned international ticketing agency in Beijing, with a view of opening wholly-owned branch companies in other Chinese cities.

In addition, FCm is currently one of the only foreign travel management companies to own more than 51 per cent of its other operations in China.

FCm first established a China foothold in 2004 through a joint venture with China Comfort Travel Co, the nation's third largest travel agency at that time.

"Since then, we have organically expanded into Shanghai and Guangzhou and now own 95 per cent of our Chinese operations," said general manager for FCm Greater China, David Fraser.

"China was the first offshore market in which the FCm business was established and we have always sought to build our equity presence here, due to the strong growth of the corporate travel market and the success of our local business.

"We are very excited about the opportunities our international ticketing license and growing equity base will give us, for the benefit of our clients."

Fraser added that new changes to regulations removing all restriction on foreign travel agents would hopefully create further opportunities for FCm in the latter half of 2009.

"We welcome the Regulations on Travel Agencies that will take effect on 1 May, as they will potentially create more options for how our business is structured in China and how our clients can be serviced.

"As an example, the regulations may open up more possibilities for FCm to provide outbound tours and group travel, and also more easily expand into other cities," he said.

"Foreign-owned companies will also be able to apply for 100% foreign-owned travel agency licenses, which will give us the scope to undertake further organic growth of our business in this market."