BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
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A UK survey of 500 PAs reveals 59% of bosses are rapidly taking steps to reduce their businesses” central costs as the credit crunch begins to bite.
Commissioned by hotel chain Travelodge, the feedback is that business travel is the first major policy to be reviewed - with two thirds of companies introducing ”budget only” travel. Flights and rail travel (45%) were most scrutinised, closely followed by personal expenses (39%) and hotel costs (37%).
”It”s clear that business is taking rapid action to control costs,” said Travelodge chief operating officer Guy Parsons. ”We have secured more than expected corporate accounts in recent weeks and other major companies want to discuss budget business travel with us.”
The company obviously aims to benefit from any such trend, and it says its research is supported by global hotel and meetings and management specialist BSI, whose clients include nine FTSE 50 companies including Marks and Spencers, Tesco and British Aerospace.
”We have seen a significant move to budget and economy brands over recent months as businesses look to squeeze more from their travel expenditure,” said BSI managing director Trevor Elswood.
”Eleven of our top 15 customers have now included economy brands within their preferred hotel programmes. This reflects a focus on cost reduction and the heightened quality and consistency of budget hotel offerings.”
BSI declared that budget operators had seen the biggest gains so far with Travelodge generating a bookings increase of 20% on last year.
Business travel accounts for around 40% of Travelodge”s customer base and its most popular business destination is London.