China’s Ctrip has tabled a new report outlining details of the huge outbound tourism market from that country.

The report was tabled at the 2017 Asia-Pacific Corporate Travel Summit, one of the most important annual events in the business travel management industry, was hosted by Ctrip Corporate Travel, a leading travel management company in China, in Beijing on February 21, 2017.

With the tagline of “TM+: a transformation of the business travel ecosystem”, well-known firms across the business travel ecosystem including airlines, hotels, business travel payment processing and spending control firms as well as meetings, travel incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) service providers, had in-depth discussions focused on analytics regarding current industry trends, with an aim of promoting service upgrades.

According to a report, based on the 2016 market data from Ctrip Corporate Travel and Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s largest business travel organization, China’s business travel spending reached US$290 billion in 2016, second only to the US.

As the size of the market grows, the need for upgrading the industry is also increasing. “In addition to the basic demand for cost savings through business travel management, enterprise customers currently hope to improve management efficiency through an effective and integrated business travel management system,” said Ctrip vice president, Ctrip Corporate Travel CEO Fang Jiqin in his opening speech at the summit. “The changes in the demands from enterprise customers and the industry’s need to improve its own value proposition have driven the transformation of the business travel industry. It is on this basis that Ctrip Corporate Travel came up with the TM+ strategy.”

Comprehensive, self-service and smart are the three major features of the business travel management “TM+” era. In terms of comprehensive, horizontally, products span different sectors and fields, expanding from booking for air tickets, hotels to sharing platforms, MICE and other travel-related incentives, which enables integrated services; vertically, processes expand from booking and payment to the front-end business travel application and authorization along with the back-end reimbursement and analysis, delivering end-to-end process management and control. In terms of self-service, TM+ moves the industry from self-service booking, business travel authorization and payment to a fully holistic business travel management process, including client onboarding and maintenance, expense auditing and settlement, traveler profile changes as well as electronic invoice delivery and validation . As for smart, providing smart yet cost-efficient recommendations based on traveler preferences as gleaned from his or her travel history and providing smart reports based on comparative analysis of individual spending against the enterprise as a whole and, through the application of big data, the industry as a whole.

Whole process: a new standard across the business travel management industry

Given the pressing demand from customers for a transformation of business travel management, Ctrip Corporate Travel released an upgraded, whole-process version of its app at the summit. The new app has upgraded several functions including authorization and booking, extra-budgetary requests while in transit, as well as reimbursement following the trip, providing a full range of intelligent, integrated, one-stop business travel management services. The upgrades to the app serve to help customers reduce business travel costs and improve travel management efficiency.

Ctrip Corporate Travel will continue to bring together upstream and downstream providers in the business travel ecosystem and seek deeper strategic cooperation with industry-leading office automation systems, cost control reimbursement software and travel service providers, corporate procurement platforms as well as social and financial platforms. All of these are efforts made to explore and develop more imaginative components to TM+, and deliver further service enhancements to the business travel management industry.