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Business travel increased last year and looks likely to increase again in 2008 - despite analysts” pessimistic economic forecasts - according to the Barclaycard Business Travel Survey.
Nearly half of respondents (44%) travelled more in 2007 than they did the previous year, and a third planned to travel more in 2008 ” with 77% anticipating the same amount or more. Business expansion in the UK and abroad were the main reasons.
However, the poll of more than 3,000 business travellers also shows spending is under closer scrutiny, with fewer trips being taken using ”business class” and more on budget airlines.
Companies seem to be focusing on managing and minimising costs, with more than 55% of respondents saying they were most likely to fly economy class when travelling for business, compared with 46% in 2006. In 2001, 41% of respondents cited business class as their main mode of air travel. Six years later just 11% said they travel business or first class.
”This year”s results show business people are still positive about economic and business growth,” said Barclaycard Business director of commercial cards, Denise Leleux.
”But they are also becoming even more cost-conscious ” perhaps more so this year than before. And it is clear that the long term impact of premium economy services on many long-haul scheduled carriers is continuing.”
Business travellers are increasingly opting for low-cost airlines for their work trips ” British Airways (28%) was followed by easyJet (15%) and Ryanair (8%) as the favoured airlines for travel. Both budget carriers more than doubled their share from 2006.
In addition, luxury accommodation is also on the decline for corporate stays, with more than half of travellers - 54% - choosing hotels based on value for money, while 49% said cost was the sole factor in their decision.