TORONTO — Hong Kong is the fourth most visited international destination among Canadian business travellers, according to new data released by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) on Aug. 16.
The data incorporates the booking details of outgoing travel from GBT’s Canadian customers between July 2015 and June 2016, and revealed the top destinations for domestic, U.S. and international travel. Consistent year-over-year, the top destinations outside of Canada are global cities New York and London, home to numerous company headquarters, conferences and conventions, reliable transportation and international airports.
Developed urban metropolises continue to hold top positions as the most frequented destinations around the globe. Hong Kong, which did not make the top 10 list the year previous, maintains strong relations and good cooperation with Canada on a large range of topics, including public health, legal matters and trade and investment. Additionally, Hong Kong boasts one of the largest Canadian communities abroad, a factor that may contribute to the increase in business travel.
Toronto continues to lead as the top destination for travel within Canada. While many other locations on the domestic list maintained their positions, a significant drop in business travel to Alberta was noticed. Calgary, Edmonton and Fort McMurray, while still on the top 10 list, had much less activity, with data indicating a decline of 56.4 per cent for Fort McMurray.
In addition to unveiling the top destinations, the data revealed how Canadian business travellers are booking. Results showed a significant increase in the number of bookings made online versus phone, with an impressive 59.5 per cent of employees choosing to book their business travel online this year, a 19.5 per cent increase over last year. Moreover, just over 80 per cent of travellers who booked online required no support from a travel counsellor over the course of their travel experience, likely indicating that business travellers are becoming more comfortable and confident managing travel online.
As the most populous city in Canada, Toronto year-over-year remains the number one destination for Canadian business travellers domestically. Calgary moves down the ranks into third position, replaced by Montreal in the number two spot. Vancouver claimed the fourth position.