Travel spend in ‘fragile recovery’

26 February 2010

26 February 2010 | Jake Kanter

UK business travel spend has posted signs of a fragile recovery, according to findings from the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC).

The organisation’s quarterly survey, monitoring about 11 million purchases made by 32 travel management companies, found that transactions stabilised on key categories in the three months to the end of December 2009. These categories include air travel, rail, hotels and car hire.

Aviation transactions, the traditional bellwether of UK business travel, rose 1 per cent to 1,187,094 compared with the same period in 2008.

This was a big improvement on the third quarter last year, where aviation purchases hit 1,449,289, down 15 per cent compared with the same quarter in 2008.

Hotel transactions for the fourth quarter in 2009 were only down 2 per cent compared with the corresponding period the year before.

Demand for rail travel last year was consistently higher than in 2008, while car hire transactions were still faltering – posting an 8 per cent decline in the fourth quarter.

“Figures for aviation and hotel accommodation are starting to gain ground on previous quarter performances, they illustrate that the UK economy recovery is on, but very fragile. The next quarter results will be very telling,” said GTMC chief executive Anne Godfrey.

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