Travel and Transport recently attended Radius Travel’s 2014 Asia Pacific Meeting in which members met in Shanghai, China to discuss global travel trends and best practices for doing business and managing travel in this quickly growing market. Radius continues to place considerable focus on the APAC region and has increased its footprint there considerably in recent years. APAC Agencies in attendance included Citystate Travel (Singapore), Cox & Kings (India), Ctrip (China), Dwidaya Worldwide (Indonesia), FBI Travel (Australia), Globetrotter Corporate Travel (Australia), Global Union Express (Thailand), H.I.S. Travel (Japan), North Star International (Phillipines), Air Express Travel (Mongolia) and Sedunia Travel Services (Malaysia). Agencies attending from other global regions included Portman Travel (United Kingdom), Ultramar Travel Management – a Travel and Transport Company (United States), Selectour Afat (France) and Continent Tours (Ghana).
Growth in Online and Mobile Booking
Online booking for corporate travel in the APAC region and particularly in China and India is being embraced like never before as global business in Asia grows, mobile technology becomes more and more prevalent and younger generations enter the business world. Martin Herbert, Commercial Director – North Asia for Travelport, spoke at the meeting to offer insights into the travel landscape in this region. He offered the statistic that 87% of people in Hong Kong and Singapore own smart phones, a higher percentage than virtually anywhere else in the world, and 38% of travelers book hotels via mobile devices. The trip also included a visit to Radius member C-Trip’s offices in Shanghai.
Pictured: Travel and Transport’s Vice President of Account Management April Wheeler with C-Trip’s Dolphin Mascot. Radius member C-Trip’s offices in Shanghai. C-Trip is the largest travel agency in China and is leading the way in this region with innovations in the online booking space.
Importance of Duty of Care and Global Data
Duty of care and the ability to track and report on travelers via global pre-trip reporting is an area of continued focus for Radius and its members. Traveler safety and security is becoming more and more valued by both APAC-headquartered companies and western companies who do business in the region.
Radius also shared that ensuring clean, accurate global data continues to be a top priority and that they are continually working with members in the APAC region and worldwide to refine and enhance data standards and processes for both pre and post-trip reporting.
The Next Emerging Markets
Radius continues to show that they have their finger on the pulse of emerging markets and it’s not just the APAC region that is seeing growth. The organization introduced its two most recent member additions – both of which are seen as new key markets for global business:
- Continent Tours in Ghana
- Air Express Travel in Mongolia
Over the past decade, BRICS – the acronym that referred to the large growth markets of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – was a heavy topic of discussion in international economics and global business. Where do economists see the next big economic growth coming from? MINT – Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey. Look for these countries to be areas of focus for global business and global travel in the coming years.