14 January 2010 | Rebecca Ellinor
One-third of travel managers plan to buy more business trips this year and one-quarter say budgets will increase, research has found.
A survey of 1,400 business travel managers, conducted ahead of the Business Travel & Meetings Show, also found increased optimism in the industry with 76 per cent expecting the UK to be out of recession by the end of the year.
It wasn’t all good news, however. The proportion who said budgets will increase (27 per cent) was matched by those anticipating a drop in spending. The remaining 46 per cent said budgets would stay the same.
Even those with more cash to spend said a thrifty approach was key. As many as 81 per cent plan to adopt even stricter travel policies this year, with 44 per cent booking lower-class airline tickets, 22 per cent using lower-quality accommodation and 46 per cent increasing their use of video conferencing.
BT Global’s travel category manager, Jan Tucker Jones, said: “The current economic climate gives all travel managers a great opportunity to get senior management buy-in to cost-effective travel reduction programmes. It is imperative to the success of any programme to have a clear procurement strategy that includes close scrutiny of all areas and in particular compliance.”
The Business Travel & Meetings Show takes place in London, 9-10 February 2010.