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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The GBTA China Conference 2013 Discusses the Emerging Trends and Developments in the World’s Most Dynamic Business Travel Market

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) — the voice of the global business traveller - hosted its inaugural GBTA China Conference from April 15-17, 2013 in Shanghai. More than 150 business leaders and travel industry professionals from across China, Asia Pacific and the US gathered at the Jin Jiang Tower Hotel in Shanghai. The three-day event featured a programme of educational seminars about the fast-growing Chinese business travel industry, and was a chance for delegates to network with industry peers and forge new business relationships.

GBTA China Conference attendees were the first to hear Michael W. McCormick, GBTA Executive Director and COO, present the key findings from the GBTA BTI™ China Outlook, Spring 2013 report, a semi-annual analysis of the world’s most dynamic business travel market. The report predicts that business travel spending will increase by 15 percent in 2013 as China remains on track to become the world’s largest business travel market by 2015. McCormick also announced an exciting new initiative, the founding of the GBTA China Chapter.

The 2013 GBTA China Conference opened with a spectacular Welcome Reception and Dinner themed in the style “Old Shanghai,” which was hosted by GBTA’s conference partner, Jin Jiang International Hotels. Throughout the three days of the conference, GBTA delegates shared best practices and explored emerging trends that generate savings and better utilization of resources in China. Alongside this, expert speakers and panelists discussed the unique challenges and opportunities that corporate travel management is facing due to the rapid growth of business travel expenditure in China and the Asia Pacific region.

The Keynote Speech at the 2013 GBTA China Conference was delivered by Professor Weng Jin, Vice Dean of the Department of Tourism at Fudan University in Shanghai, who spoke on the theme of “China’s Travel Industry: Future Trends and Policies.” George Cao, CEO of Dragon Trail and Tripshow.com, gave a presentation about connecting with Chinese travellers by digital and social media.

Conference panels brought together Chinese and global travel industry leaders to discuss key business travel topics, including China’s new policy on international distribution companies, the role of TMCs in China, factors influencing the evolving Chinese airline industry, cultural differences of doing business in China, and the increasingly diverse landscape of China’s business hotel industry.

Welf J Ebeling, Vice President Operations for GBTA Asia remarked:  “The success of the inaugural China Conference has shown the importance for GBTA to provide education, research and global networking for the benefit of both domestic and international companies. We are looking forward to making this a regular event, and to establish the China Chapter as an important member of the GBTA global network.”

As a result of the success of the 2013 GBTA China Conference, the GBTA and Jin Jiang International Hotels have confirmed a commitment to continue their partnership, and will work together on the next conference, which will take place in Shanghai in April 2014.