Business travel adds billions to UK trade, says report

Business travel adds billions to UK trade, says report

Corporate travel boosts trade and foreign investment in Britain by billions, according to research for the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC).

A GTMC-commissioned study by Oxford Economics suggests a 1% increase in corporate travel would add £390 million a year to UK gross domestic product (GDP).

The research on the Value of International Business Travel, published yesterday, found a return of UK corporate travel to the level before the financial crisis of 2008 would increase the value of UK trade by £6.5 billion and foreign direct investment (FDI) into Britain by £1.6 billion.

Dr Nishal Gooroochurn, author of the report and head of econometrics at Oxford Economics, told the GTMC conference in Marco Island, Florida: "A 1% increase in business travel boosts total trade by 0.05% and foreign direct investment into Britain by 0.3%."

He suggested the average international business air trip contributes £34,000 to GDP, and said: "Our findings demonstrate the huge worth of business travel to the UK.”

GTMC chief executive Paul Wait said: "The magnitude of the impact of business travel on economic performance and foreign investment within the UK is staggering – the value of business travel cannot be underestimated.

"Factors heavily influencing business travel growth, such as airport expansion, need to be urgently addressed with these numbers in mind.”

Gooroochurn noted: “Business travel has not yet recovered to its pre-2008 levels and the Oxford Economics report defines the remarkable impact on the UK’s economy such a rebound would bring."

International business air travel to and from the UK increased 12% between 2010 and 2014 following a decline of 26% between 2006 and 2010.

Gooroochurn said: "If international business travel volumes continue on the upward trajectory since 2010, the return to the wider UK economy would be significant."

Wait added: "This research demonstrates that investment in business travel is an important route to growth and trade recovery.”


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