Confidence in business travel sector soars

The British business community is feeling more confident about the future and economic recovery than it has for more than three years, according to the Guild of Travel Management Companies.

The guild’s latest quarterly review of data from its 39 members shows year-on-year transactions being up by 5% to more than 17.3 million in the three months to September.

Hotel bookings showed a 17% increase in transactions over the third quarter last year with rail, the only mode of transport to hardly decline during the  years of recession, showing a 16% rise in transactions.

Air travel transactions were up by 8% and car hire by 13% in the quarter.

Other data highlighting growing confidence of the UK business travellers in the UK economic recovery include:

-       UK purchasing managers market outlook rising sharply during the past six months with business air transactions similarly up – an increase of 8% from Q3 2012.
-       Investment into the UK and abroad by Britons beginning to rise in the first half 2013, followed by a growth in business air trips.
-       The change in exports on a seasonally adjusted basis and that of air transactions are showing almost identical upward trends.
-       A modest but consistent increase in GDP is being supported by an increase in business travel.
-       The average transaction value or yield of both business air and rail tickets is rising which suggests that demand for business travel is increasing.

Guild chief executive Paul Wait said: “Business travel has long been a bell weather of economic and business confidence and our quarterly review shows clearly that the tide has started to turn. It is vital now that UK Plc keeps focused on recovery and the best way to do this is to approach business travel as an investment in growth.”

The GTMC analysed a range of business travel transactions and tracked them against a collection of economic indicators relating to UK Plc.  Indicators included GDP, UK company profitability, business confidence and corporate investment, both in the UK and abroad, by UK organisations.

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