Corporate TravelThe pulse of business travel is growing stronger in Asia for FCM as more borders reopen in the region.

Which sectors are leading Asia's business travel return?

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Asia's healthcare and social assistance quarters are some of the most keen corporate travellers in the market.
Asia's healthcare and social assistance quarters are some of the most keen corporate travellers in the market. Photo Credit: GettyImages/Cunaplus_M.Faba

Corporate travel is making a comeback, driven by the slew of reopening announcements and relaxation of restrictions by several Asia markets in recent months.

FCM, the flagship business division of Australia’s Flight Centre Travel Group, has exceeded the 50% trading mark of pre-Covid turnover following the recent reopening of borders and the relaxation of restrictions in several key Asia markets.

Notably, its Singapore business posted a 62% month-on-month increase in turnover for March. 

Singapore's announcement to reopen the country on 1 April was "the tipping point which drove a marked recovery for our business in the region", said Bertrand Saillet, managing director for FCM in Asia. 

According to FCM’s booking figures, companies in the manufacturing and technology sector are leading the business travel bounce back. Pre-pandemic, both were key markets driving business travel and they continue to dominate the charts as markets in Asia reopen at varying rates across the region. 

Rounding up the top three was the services sector that includes business solutions, logistics, medical and insurance companies. The biggest mover was marine and agriculture where they moved into the top ten for the first time in Q1 of 2022, shooting straight in from a previous rank of 21 into number seven. 

Top 10 travelling industries (1Q 2022):
Manufacturing
Technology
Services (includes business solutions, logistics, medical, insurance)
Retail Trade
Finance & Insurance
Construction
Marine and Agriculture
Health Care & Social Assistance
Mining
Transportation & Warehousing 

Looking ahead, FCM expects accelerated recovery from its key Asia markets in the coming months. 

According to Timothy Williams, chief financial officer for FCM in Asia, said: “Transaction levels for corporate travel in global markets which have opened since Q4 2021 have seen a bounceback between 50-70% of pre-covid levels, with some markets hitting 100% recovery this quarter, performing even better than pre-covid levels. 

"This positive trajectory indicates a strong desire to return to in-person meetings for successful business development in 2022 and we’re confident that Asia’s recovery will mirror that of the Americas and Europe in the coming months.”

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