Hong Kong businesses are ready to go global — 93% plan to travel on business in the next 12 months

Sophia Cheng3 minutes
Business tips
Hong Kong businesses are ready to go global — 93% plan to travel on business in the next 12 months
In this article

As Hong Kong continues to ease travel restrictions, business travel is set to make a steady comeback for many in the city. Large-scale conferences and trade shows that have been put on hold are gradually resuming. More face-to-face meetings are able to take place in lieu of, or in addition to, video and phone calls. Under these favourable travel conditions, many Hong Kong businesses are encouraged to send their employees on business trips.

Going on business trips is a great way for SMEs to open up their business to the global market. While they are travelling abroad, they can explore new locations and encounter new opportunities to connect with overseas vendors and customers. To better gauge the appetite for travel among local businesses in Hong Kong, Airwallex conducted a survey with more than 100 of its Hong Kong SME customers to find out what their upcoming international travel plans are; and to understand the key challenges they face when travelling overseas.

According to the survey results, we can expect an  increase in demand for business travel in 2023. Gearing up for this gradual recovery of global travel, Airwallex has partnered with Agoda for Go Global — a partnership that seeks to simplify business travel for local SMEs and help them better prepare for their future travel plans.

Business travel in Hong Kong is expected to rebound in 2023. According to the survey, local SMEs are eager to travel overseas. 84% of survey participants responded that they or their colleagues will take a business trip within the next 6 months. This figure rises to  93% when asked whether they plan to travel for business in the next 12 months.

Top regions for Hong Kong SME travellers are anticipated to be Southeast Asia (26%), Europe (17%), and Australia (9%).  Business travel may look a little different than it was in the years before the Covid-19 pandemic, but the importance of business travel remains here to stay. Building relationships, closing business deals, attending events and conferences, finding new business opportunities – you can ensure that business travel will remain to be a valuable part of a company’s road to growth and success. 

Read more: The top cross border eCommerce markets businesses should expand into in 2022 and beyond

With business travel on the rise, there is also an increase in demand for corporate cards. 65% of surveyed business owners intend to issue corporate business cards for their employees when they travel overseas. Corporate credit cards allow businesses to have easier expense tracking, better control of employee spend, and a more straightforward expense reconciliation process.

Read more: What are corporate cards, and does your business need them?

Top challenges for Hong Kong business travellers and how to beat them

Difficult to monitor travel price

Travel prices are always fluctuating now more than ever. When you check the prices of airline tickets one day, they can go up the next day when you search again. With this constant change in prices, many business travellers find it difficult to locate the best flight and hotel deals. Agoda offers travellers easy access to a wide variety of flights and accommodations to suit their needs.

Sign up for Go Global today to enjoy 7% off when booking your accommodations on Agoda when you make the booking with your Airwallex Borderless Card. What’s more, after the discount, Airwallex will offer an extra 20% cash rebate on any Agoda purchases including both flights and accommodations!*

*The 20% cash rebate offer is capped at HK$2,000 per employee card and HK$10,000 per Airwallex account. T&Cs apply.

Difficult to open corporate cards

According to the results of our survey, many Hong Kong SMEs plan to issue corporate cards for their employees when they go on business trips. However, it is often difficult for SMEs to open a business bank account in Hong Kong. This process is usually long and tedious, which means that the corporate cards may not be ready in time before the work trip. In fact, 30% of Hong Kong SMEs noted in our survey that ease of opening cards online is a big motivator for them to open corporate cards for their employees; while 24% stated they are more likely to issue corporate cards for their employees if they can create the cards for free.

If you are looking to give your team the added advantages of using multi-currency corporate cards while travelling, you can issue free virtual cards online right away with Airwallex Borderless Cards. Your employees will be able to transact in 140+ currencies and save on international transactions and FX fees, enabling them to make faster and cheaper transfers across the globe. You’ll also be able to set spend limits on your employee’s Airwallex cards, so you can track their real-time spending and gain better control of your budget.

Sign up for Go Global to make your business travel easier From now till 31 March 2022, Hong Kong SMEs can apply for free to Airwallex’s Go Global initiative, supported by Agoda. Enjoy a number of special savings and cash rebate offers to help you make the most of your next business trip.

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Sophia Cheng
Content Marketing Manager

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