[photopress:hotels_china_business_travel_1_2.jpg,full,alignright]If you work for a big American company and you have to travel you have very few choices. The company makes them for you. It has a deal with yet another company which negotiates lower travel and accommodation costs because of the bulk involved. The individual traveler simply does not have much say. Because the company saves serious amount of money.
At the moment China business has, generally, not got on to this area of cost saving.
Jean-Pierre Remy, president of Expedia Corporate Travel said fewer than one in five companies in China currently uses a travel management company, leaving room for explosive growth.
It is, in fact, a no-brainer.
According to American Express China’s business travel market is worth $10 billion, the world’s fourth-biggest. Online travel agency Expedia Inc’s corporate travel unit expects growth in China’s corporate travel services market to speed up substantially from its current pace of 20 to 30%.
Expedia Corporate Travel, a five-year-old business, is still small time compared to its massive retail parent. It had 1.3 billion bookings globally in 2007, compared with 20 billion bookings for Expedia Inc.
It is moving into China in a joint venture with eLong Inc. the country’s second-largest online travel firm in which Expedia owns a stake. Yes, there is competition already for this immense market but it is barely tapped and Expedia has a major growth opportunity.