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UK bookings to China fall 17% amid economic concerns

UK business travel bookings to China dropped 17 per cent in 2015 compared to the previous year.

Research from American Express Global Business Travel found the year-on-year decrease reflects the “international concerns” about the country’s current economic situation.

The data, which highlights the destinations most booked by UK-based business travellers, shows China’s economic hub Shanghai has fallen out of the global top 10 list.

North America dominates international bookings outside of Europe with four cities in the top 10, but emerging economies and technology hubs are also popular.

New York and San Francisco lead bookings made by UK-based travellers according to actual bookings through Amex GBT in 2015. The study said the presence of Johannesburg and Mumbai “cements” the importance of emerging markets to UK businesses.

Tel Aviv, absent from last year’s rankings, is in eighth position, indicating that UK businesses are taking increased interest in the city’s renowned “startup ecosystem”.

Within Europe, Amsterdam remains the most popular business travel destination for UK-based business travellers. While Germany remains the only country to feature more than once on the list, with Frankfurt and Munch at numbers three and six.

Amex GBT said the addition of Stockholm at number 10 suggests an increasing interest in the Nordic region from the UK.

The study was unveiled at this year’s Business Travel Show.

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