Asia’s top 1000 companies are spending billions of dollars per annum on travel and entertainment.

Presenting to delegates at the Incentive Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific annual meeting in Hong Kong in late August, principal analyst at East & Partners Asia, Paul Dowling, left many attendees gob-smacked at the amount of money Asia’s top companies are spending on travel and entertainment.

East & Partners Asia conducts quarterly research into the spending patterns of the top 1000 companies across 10 countries in the region. He said these companies are spending in excess of $1.5 billion per annum on travel and entertainment, with two-thirds of this spend being on meetings and events.

He said the study was touching the surface of what the total spend would be if every corporation was surveyed, believing spend would be 15 times the $1.5 billion figure reached.

The Asia Corporate T&E Market study interviews the top 100 revenue ranked corporates in 10 countries in the Asia Pacific, excluding Japan and Australia. Countries include: Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Philippines and China.

Interviews are conducted in-person or by telephone with the key executives who are responsible for business travel and entertainment finances.
Manufacturing companies are the largest sector (27 per cent) followed by wholesale companies (12.1 per cent), finance and insurance (11.8 per cent) and construction and retail (9.5 per cent each).

Key market insights include:

  • Average corporate annual T&E spend is $150 million
  • T&E budget is on a rebound with a +3.1 per cent growth forecast in 2015
  • Spending is event/conference driven, with two-thirds of the T&E budget
  • India has overtaken China as having the highest growth in outbound travel

Mr Dowling said there had been a 30 per cent growth in companies utilising external event management companies for their activity in the past 12 months.

He also said that the majority of corporate spending patterns were focused on hotel chains and brands and not on single property hotels.

In terms of event agencies, he said that corporates did not see much difference between one over another, and believes that agencies need to provide corporates with a greater understanding of how they differ from others.

East & Partners Asia undertakes analysis of this sector quarterly. Visit for details and more insights into the spending patterns of corporations in the T&E sector.