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The essential annual guide to the continent’s top travel management companies

Travel management companies are emerging from two of the most challenging years they are ever likely to face and are now finding their way in an environment of new processes and expectations.

Not all of them have come through the Covid-19 pandemic. Some long-established names were unable to ride out its devastation while others have been absorbed by competitors keen to scale up or add a new dimension to their business. Interestingly, the pandemic has also spawned several start-ups while investors do not appear to be shunning the sector.

This annual report, now in its 26th year, provides an indispensable look at the leading TMCs in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, plus a rundown of the leading networks and consortia, featuring profiles of more than 100 organisations, market analysis and the findings of surveys of both travel managers and travel management companies.

The rankings are compiled from information supplied from travel management companies during a three-month period from March to May each year. The information is gathered through a comprehensive questionnaire that we review each year for its relevance.

The survey includes questions on financial performance and transactions and we are very grateful to TMCs for providing the information that is vital for creating these rankings.

Despite hopes that 2021 would see meaningful recovery, the business travel sector continued to weather the storm, as wave after wave of the virus washed around the world.

So, as with this report last year, we decided it would not be fair to compare TMCs on their revenues for a single year which, like the one that went before it, was something of an anomaly.

Instead, we asked TMCs to provide us with combined gross sales figures for the last three years – 2019, 2020 and 2021. And once again, we took the decision not to print those combined sales figures other than for those in the pan-European TMC and network rankings.

After the expansion of our coverage last year, we have taken the decision to separate out TMCs in the five key markets in Europe – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Once again, we have also included a separate ranking for consortia and networks in Europe.

Every year, despite encouragement and persuasion, some TMCs are unwilling to supply us answers to every question for this report, including the key financial statistics that we use to rank TMCs. A few years ago we decided to include all of the major TMCs in this ranking, regardless of whether they supplied the necessary information. This means that, for some TMCs, we have to make estimates of certain key figures, notably the gross sales figure, rather like the compilers of the Sunday Times Rich List do. These are clearly marked.

We make these estimates as rigorous as possible. This involves looking at the company registers in all of the countries in the report, analysing air spend figures from IATA’s Billing and Settlement Plan, and taking note of public statements about changes in client spend and turnover in the media across Europe.

We have also used figures of how individual markets as a whole have been affected by the pandemic to calculate estimates of sales for some companies. In some instances we have used historic ratios of turnover to gross sales to make estimates. It is also worth noting that to compare figures we have used average annual exchange rates between the key currencies.

We believe that the figures we use, where estimated, reflect the state of the market. However, we encourage all TMCs in the ranking, as well as those who are not included and who believe they should be, to share their details with us so they can be included in future editions.

• Europe's Leading TMCs 2022 was published on 21 June 2022. For further information, queries or feedback, please contact report author Mark Frary and BTN Europe editor-in-chief Andy Hoskins.

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