Business travel to see stable increase

Updated: 2012-02-16 21:02

By Chen Jia (

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BEIJING - Volume of business travel worldwide is expected to increase this year despite the fast price rise of air travel and uncertainty of the world's economic growth, a research report from a global commercial-trip service company said on Thursday.

The increased volume of China's business travel in 2011 was the fastest among all the 60 countries that AirPlus International, a German business-travel management solution provider, has business in.

"Last year, global business flights were 6 percent higher than a year earlier, although the European debt crisis is worsening," said Patrick Diemer, Chairman of the Executive Board of AirPlus.

Companies are not willing to forego business trips as they deem them to be an indispensable investment in growth even though the prices for all travel services rose, Diemer said.

From a survey made by AirPlus, 35 percent of the 1,701 respondent companies in 20 countries forecast that trip numbers may increase this year. Meanwhile, 40 percent of them believe that travel spending is also likely to continue to increase.

In China, the average airplane ticket price was 2,091 yuan in 2011, compared with 1,780 yuan in 2010, which was in line with the nation's surging inflation, according to the company's report.

"It is almost the fastest price growth among the 20 countries in our survey," said Lucy Wang, AirPlus's general manager in China .

"This year, although the spending is growing fast, we expected a further increase in business travel for Chinese state-owned companies, which have relatively large travel budgets and relatively strong demand to expand business overseas," said Wang.