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This week, BTE reports on record sales volume for Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), strong annual performances by two major hotel chains, InterContinental and Rezidor, HRG's survey of the global hotel industry and record transaction figures from members of the UK Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC).
The HRG report on hotels is dealt with in more detail in BTE Analysis.
But taken together these five reports suggest the business of managed travel in Europe is in rude health. The word record appears in three of them which indicates that 2007 was an extremely good year for them.
The trick is whether they can keep it up in 2008. The GTMC reported some softening of demand in the last quarter when the increased in business compared with 2006 was only 4% in the last quarter against 6% in the first and 8% in the middle two. This is itself does not sound disastrous.
And while the respective ceos of Rezidor and IHG make the now necessary noises about economic uncertainties of the future, their own figures regarding new hotels and extra rooms in the pipeline and new areas for business seem to contradict this caution.
What is probably confusing them as much as everyone else is that while there are constant predictions of recession and foregathering doom, life, business activity and therefore travel seem meanwhile to go buoyantly on.
Stanley SlaughterEditorBusiness Travel Europe