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THE VOLUME OF BUSINESS TRAVEL across Europe will decline in 2011, according to a new survey.
Finance consultants Deloitte polled 4,000 people in the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain about their travel expectations for the coming year.
The company said the still-to-be-felt impact of public spending cuts and the rise of VAT from 17.5 per cent to 20 per cent were the primary reasons for uncertainty in the UK, and that corporate travel budgets were likely to be squeezed further.
In Germany, Spain and the UK more than half of respondents said they would do less business travel next year, while in Italy it was 47 per cent.
The findings contradicted recent statements by a number of leading business travel industry figures.
However, Paul Tilstone, chief executive of the Institute of Travel & Meetings, said that research carried out by his organisation last year also found that the long-term outlook for business travel growth would slow.
"We may see a long-term reduction or the flattening of demand," he said. "Our buyers estimated that the combination of environment, cost reduction and travel-alternatives could account for a combined reduction of up to 30 per cent over 10 years."