Last week, I had the opportunity to attend CWT’s Global Exchange 2015 event (“Exchange”) in Singapore, meaning I got to spend a few days with our CWT Asia Pacific team and connect with over 50 of our clients representing 10 different countries.
Asia Pacific is currently the largest business travel market in the world*, making up 39% of all global spend in 2014. This number is only expected to rise in the next decade as established markets such as China and India, and emerging markets like Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, continue to grow at a rapid pace.
In a presentation by the Economist Corporate Network, it was predicted that three of the world’s four largest economies will be in Asia (China, India, and Japan) by 2030. To help power the future of corporate travel in this dynamic, fast-growing region, it’s absolutely critical for CWT to continue delivering value by integrating high-quality service with cutting-edge technology.
During Exchange, I especially enjoyed the customer panel discussions on taking mature travel programs to the next level, the complexities of balancing traveler-centricity with compliance and safety and security, and the risks and opportunities created by the sharing economy. There was a lot of great input from our clients, who kindly shared their ideas, opinions and best practises.
This year, the Asia Pacific team arranged for three in-depth breakout sessions covering the Chinese, Indian, and Australian corporate travel markets. It was great to hear CWT leaders and customers discuss the latest developments and unique market conditions in three of the largest corporate travel markets in Asia Pacific today. Look out for future posts on each of these markets on future CWT Savvy Traveler posts.
Another popular feature of the event was our responsible business showcase. In alignment with our theme “Powering Our Future”, we raised awareness and support for a few educational initiatives. Our team sold copies of a children’s book The Story of Baitong & Boon with proceeds going to the Himmapaan Foundation in Thailand, which seeks to promote English literacy among children in rural Asia. For every copy sold, one book will be donated to an underprivileged child. We also had representatives from Junior Achievement, a global non-profit organization that delivers programs to schools fostering work-readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy among children.
For me, the highlight was spending quality time with customers in the region, hearing how we can work closer together. I can’t wait to make many of those discussions a reality in the future.
*GBTA BTI 2015
Are you based in Asia Pacific? What changes have you seen to your business? Is there a hot topic or trend you’d like me to cover in a future blog? Share your thoughts below.