BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
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Business travel transactions in the UK rose by 6 per cent for the third quarter of 2014, according to the latest figures from the GTMC.
Sales from the GTMC’s members showed that bookings were buoyed by bigger rises in key categories such as hotels (up 7 per cent year-on-year), rail (up 8 per cent) and car rental (up 21 per cent) for the three months between July and September
But flight sales only increased by one per cent year-on-year during the quarter, which was a slower rate of growth than earlier in the year, although air bookings have risen for the last six consecutive quarters and are up 2 per cent for the first nine months of 2014.
GTMC said in its quarterly report that these figures showed that the growth in business travel was being driven by the SME sector which “typically has stronger demand for domestic and short haul, rather than international and long-haul travel”.
Chief executive Paul Wait said: “Business travel has maintained its resilience with an increase in the last two quarters, despite a fall in business confidence.
“While the growth in rail, hotel and car rental transactions is good news for the domestic travel providers, demand for exports from our international trading partners has fallen and demand for long-haul travel has slowed.”
Wait urged companies to increase their long-haul travel, particularly to emerging markets such as Latin America, to help fuel an “export-led recovery”.
“The government has long championed an export-led recovery as the solution for economic growth, rather than an over-reliance on domestic consumer spending,” added Wait.
“To correct this balance, attention must focus further afield on emerging markets such as Latin America. A greater investment in business travel is essential in realising this ambition for economic growth from international markets.”