2007 was a good year for business travel in Europe. The continent's major airlines reported consistently high profits and hotels in the capital cities seemed to enjoy the best rates and revenues per available rooms (revPAR) for many years.
As the year ended, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported a 9.3% rise in passenger figures in November compared with the same month in 2006. These latest figures also showed the "fastest growth rate recorded in 18 months."
In Europe the figures showed that passengers increased by 7.6% in November 2007 compared with November 2006 and that load factor was up 2.9% to 75%.
TRI Hospitality Consulting reported that hotel chains in the UK enjoyed an increase in room rates in November. A survey of 462 properties showed their gross operating profit has risen by 5.6% to £52.81 per available room.
TRI also said that average room rate had increased in November by 7.4% to £95.03.
But if 2007 finished on a high note, what of 2008?
Potential storm clouds in the form of the global credit squeeze seem already to be gathering but the extent of its impact is difficult to judge. So far there has been much talk and many warnings but no significant setbacks to business travel.
Pressure on corporates to take a "greener" attitude to travel is also likely to increase. This could mean increased costs for the buyers and/or a growing use of alternatives like video conferencing.
There could also be a more determined effort by corporates to select their suppliers on their attitudes to conservation, like preferring airlines with modern aircraft which use less fuel.
Security issues are likely to loom large as they did in 2008. This year does not look any potentially safer than last year so the duty of care is likely to retain its high place among travel managers' concerns.
But what of the issues? De-regulation of the GDSs in Europe - if the European Parliament gives it the go ahead â€“ is likely to have some effect but, if Europe follows the American pattern, not immediately.
Another concern which may confront travel management companies is the apparent determination of some IATA airline members to reduce the remittance time on BSP payments from one month to one week.
This is already happening in some countries, like Finland, and is due to come into place this month in the potentially vast market of Russia. But agents in Scandinavia are also under notice that their remittance time will be cut to a fortnight in July and then to a week in 2010.
These agents are due to meet with the EC later this month and are also considering legal action against IATA. If the airlines attempt to impose weekly payments across Europe, it is likely to cause widespread anger and opposition among the TMCs.
But the issue which looks likeliest to have the biggest impact in 2008 is the arrival of the first stage of the EU-US Open Skies agreement in March. Under this deal, European airports are opened up to US carriers which can fly into them and then onwards to other destinations. In return EU carriers can fly to any US destinations but not onwards to other US cities.
The main result is that Heathrow has seen a scramble for slots by US carriers with Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, Continental Airlines and US Airways all planning to start transatlantic services from the airport in March.
Air France KLM has traded and leased slots to its SkyTeam alliance partners Delta and Northwest while Alitalia is among several carriers which have cashed in on the enhanced values of the Heathrow slots.
At the same time as AF KLM, Delta and Northwest have joined forces to provide more transatlantic services, AF has significantly strengthened its position at London City Airport - the ideal short haul airport for Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam - by buying niche carrier VLM.
It is unlikely the jockeying for position not only at Heathrow but other airports like London City is over.
BA is due to announce its plans for starting new services from continental cities to the US while Lufthansa has been relatively quiet.
It could be a busy couple of months.