BEIJING, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- China is expected to overtake the United States and become the world's biggest business travel market in 2017, the country's leading online travel agency said Wednesday.
Spending on business travel in China hit 290 billion U.S. dollars last year and will grow by at least 10 percent this year, according to a report from Ctrip Corporate Travel, a subsidiary of Ctrip.
Small- and medium-sized Chinese companies will become a major source of business travel growth, spending a potential 100 billion yuan (14.5 billion U.S. dollars), said Fang Jiqin, chief executive officer of Ctrip Corporate Travel.
He said cheaper, smarter travel management services are needed for Chinese firms to lower costs and boost efficiency.
The Ctrip report also said there was room for industry consolidation in China, with 80 percent of the national market dominated by small and unprofessional business travel service providers.