The inauguration of President Trump and the British vote to leave the EU last year left us in a state of global economic and political uncertainty. A minor aftershock permeated through the travel industry and dented confidence somewhat but, thankfully, a report by the Business Travel Show has confirmed that this period of restraint was temporary and businesses are now investing in travel more than ever.
The recent survey of over 240 buyers revealed that 40 per cent of businesses will, in fact, have bigger corporate travel budgets in 2018, compared to 32 per cent 12 months ago. Half of those buyers will also have more to spend on air travel and accommodation and 85 per cent will be managing more trips for executives.
David Chapple, Business Travel Show event director, explained: “This time last year, geopolitical events such as Brexit and the swearing in of the new POTUS left many concerned for the economy and the widespread feeling of uncertainty about what the future holds undoubtedly leaked in to the travel industry.
“The results of our survey, however, indicate that this caution was short-lived and budgets and growth appear to be healthier than ever. In fact, some commentators have even suggested corporate travel may do better than other industries in the near future, as companies invest more in travel to explore alternative trade avenues outside of Europe following the Brexit vote.”
A senior UK corporate travel manager added his positive take on the research: “From my point of view, the growth of corporate travel budgets is in line with company growth and the increase in number of required trips and not necessarily an increase in travel costs.”
Business Travel Show is Europe’s leading event for corporate travel professionals and takes place at Olympia London from 21-22 February 2018. With more than 260 world-class suppliers covering every area of travel – from hotel chains and transatlantic air carriers, to chauffeur companies and private jets, tech entrepreneurs and innovative start-ups in the Launchpad – the show is a super-efficient way to discover exciting new suppliers and business partners for 2018 and beyond.
Away from the show floor, ABTA Members can enjoy everything from inspiring conferences and start-up showcases to specialist zones and even wine tasting. The show’s conference programme tackles all of the burning issues of the day – from GDPR to traveller risk, safety and security. Sponsored by Amex and Egencia, it features over 60 sessions for everyone, from those starting their careers to the most experienced travel agents and tour operators.
The Business Travel Show provides ABTA Members with a unique opportunity to meet around 7,500 professionals from across Europe. From peer-to-peer and supplier networking sessions, to informal social events, Members can build new relationships and share experiences and advice. There are also four hour-long Cellars in the Sky wine tastings, hosted by Business Traveller, which are great fun to take clients and business prospects to.
ABTA Members can register to attend for free at www.businesstravelshow.com/register.