Business travel spend to bounce back in 2013

13 June 2012

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13 June 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha

Business travel spend in Europe will increase in 2013, with the UK market making a full recovery after a subdued 2012, according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

The GBTA Business Travel Index (BTI) Outlook - Western Europe report predicts the UK market will see spending increase by 4 per cent to $42.1 billion (£27 billion) in 2013. This will be due to international outbound business (IOB) increasing by 2 per cent and domestic spend rising by 5 per cent.

“The increase in IOB in particular with the UK market is directly related to exports,” Paul Tilstone, managing director of GBTA Europe, told SM. “The report suggests that in the UK, historically, spending on business travel tends to be led by exports by three to six months. Many of our trading partners have been Europeans. It will be interesting to see what happens to the exchange rate to influence exports.

“The role of corporate travel buyers is directly linked to the future of their business. Traditionally, business travel spend is the second to fourth largest expense in a business. It means that the role of the travel manager within businesses, especially in exports, is increasingly important.”

Germany and France will also see growth in 2013. Germany will grow by approximately 5.4 per cent to $52.9 billion (£33.9 billion) in 2013. By the third quarter 2013 the country is expected to match the historical spending peak seen in the third quarter of 2008. It will be boosted by spending for domestic business travel, which will rise by 5.6 per cent in 2013, with IOB rising by 4.6 per cent.

France is estimated to grow by an estimated 3.3 per cent to $37.4 billion (£24 billion) driven by domestic travel going up by 5.1 per cent in 2013.

But the outlook for this year remains subdued, with spending in the UK, Germany and France rising by just 0.7, 0.6 and 0.6 per cent respectively. And spending will fall in southern European countries as Spain’s spend declines by 4.1 per cent and Italy by 5 per cent, which the report stated is a result of austerity measures.

Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain make up nearly 70 per cent of Europe’s business travel market.

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