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Travel Management

 August 04, 2009
HRG T & E Management Survey of Chinese Multinationals

 There is no doubt that corporate companies are facing one of the most tumultuous times on record, and even China, one of the world's most dynamic and rapidly growing travel markets, is not spared. The severity of the current economic downturn has forced Chinese companies to dramatically cut costs and business travel expenses.

Cost control remains the top priority for Chinese multinationals, according to a recent survey carried out by Hogg Robinson Group (HRG) at the Corporate Travel and Expense Management Forum. Held in Beijing on 14-15 July, the forum was spearheaded by HRG to discuss challenges to the business travel industry and strategies to maximise T&E cost savings and improve corporate bottom line in light of the current downturn.

During the forum, Chinese companies shared their thoughts on the current economic climate and their top priorities:

- More than half the corporates believed that the global recession would end during the course of 2010.
- 56% of corporates said their company had introduced a downgrading of cabin policy.
- 60% of those who answered 'yes' to a downgrading of cabin reported that only very senior level management (directors and above) were permitted to travel premium class.
- 52% of corporates were planning to save up to 20 per cent in travel expenses while 32% were targeting to save more than 20 per cent in 2009.
- Over 72% of organisations were also prepared to compromise traveller experience in order to achieve substantial savings.
- Corporates highlighted the importance of travel to win new business and strengthen business relationships.
- Corporate responsibility was higher on the agenda of 52% of corporates, from security through to environmental issues, compared to a year ago.

David Radcliffe, CEO of HRG, said, "During these times of uncertainty, travel management companies can bring value and expertise to corporate companies by advising them on how to address present challenges through modernising corporate travel policies and increasing the efficiency of reduced travel budgets to derive more value from their spend."

In addition to HRG's CEO David Radcliffe, the forum invited eminent speakers from some of China's leading multi-national companies such as Philips, Caterpillar, Agilent Technologies, AkzoNobel Decorative Coating and General Electric Company Water & Process Technologies Group.