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16 August 2013 | Will Green
More than a third of UK firms believe travel costs will rise in the next 12 months and hotel prices pose the biggest threat, a survey has found.
According to the AirPlus International Travel Management Study 2013, 38 per cent of British travel buyers think costs are on the rise, considerably more than the Western Europe average of 28 per cent.
Of those, the largest proportion – 45 per cent – fear a rise in accommodation costs. At the same time the number of firms with preferred pricing deals with hotels has dropped from 82 per cent to 69 per cent.
Just 7 per cent of UK respondents predicted there would be fewer business trips in the following 12 months, compared with a Western Europe average of 14 per cent, and 28 per cent believed there would be more.
Yael Klein, UK managing director at AirPlus International, said: “What really stands out for me this year is that UK GDP remains stuck in a narrow band either side of zero per cent, yet it is not stopping British companies boarding flights in search of new business.”
Compared to the previous survey, the proportion of firms with no travel policy has fallen from 16 per cent to six per cent, and those with a policy for all aspects of travel has increased from 67 per cent to more than eight in 10.
The UK is ahead of the pack when it comes to data, with 86 per cent saying they analyse travel spend, against a global average of 56 per cent. But the proportion of firms with corporate deals with airlines – 46 per cent – still lags behind the Western European average of 54 per cent.
And just 26 per cent of UK respondents were happy with the way service providers coordinate and work together, the lowest figure for any country.