BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
This week we report on FCm Travel Solutions' deal with a leading German TMC, DER Business Travel, on the "sleeping giant" of online corporate travel management, and how some German hoteliers enjoyed a boom time during the World Cup.
The deal that FCm and DER have signed seems to make a lot of sense to both parties.
FCm's UK company, formerly Britannic Travel, has long had as clients German companies with business interests in the UK and its managing director Alan Spence has been looking for a suitable German partner.
DER, once part of the Synergi group, apparently was also looking around, feeling that a straightforward Anglo-German deal was better than being a bit player in an alliance dominated by the UK and the US.
This is understandable as Germany after all is a large and strong market for business travel, valued at some €7bn, although much of this is domestic.
But a piece of good news for the Europe is that FCm is still looking to expand in Europe despite the strong lure of expanding economies like those of Brazil, Russia, India and China.
There was a felling, back at the ACTE's Global Conference in London last year, that Europe, or at least the central and eastern parts of the continent, did not rank as such a prime area for expansion as China and India.
True, the sheer numbers and open opportunities stack up heavily in favour of these two countries – certainly enough to tempt some TMCs in their direction.
But the expanding economies of the countries of central and eastern Europe want good, efficient travel management.
So it is good to hear that FCm still thinks Europe is worth investing in.