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Rail and hotel reservations soar despite downturn
Rail and hotel booking by member of the UK Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) rose in the third quarter despite the economic downturn.
The Guild which represents the majority of the country's leading TMCS, said rail bookings were up 16% and hotel reservations up 18% compared with the same three months in 2007.
It said that all bookings, including air and car rental, increased by 8% in the third quarter compared with 2007.
The GTMC said that over the year rail bookings had risen by 19% while hotel bookings have increased 24%.
But while air bookings had risen 14% compared to 2007, for the whole year, the increase was only 2%.
Car rentals showed a 3% drop compared to 2007 while over the year, there had been no growth at all on last year's figures.
The Guild said that other business transactions, including travel insurance, passport and visa services, airport taxi bookings and chauffeur drive cars has grown by 3% comapred with 2007.
Philip Carlisle, GTMC's ceo, said: "The results are remarkable when one considers that air travel is up 2% over last year and hotel and rail transactions are positively booming.
"Clearly British business still sees business travel as a vital aspect of trading during a downturn."
"As the economic cycle tightens we expect to see business travel impacted but the impressive growth in hotel and rail transactions may indicate that corporates will switch their business travel buying strategies rather than cut back completely."