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9 January 2013 | Adam Leach
The majority of UK travel managers believe the amount of business travel will stay the same in 2013 while nearly a quarter expect it to increase, a survey has said.
The 2013 International Travel Management Study, published today by AirPlus UK, found of the 2,101 travel managers surveyed, 64 per cent predicted the number of trips to stay broadly the same as 2012, 28 per cent expect them to increase and just 7 per cent expect the number to drop. In addition, 45 per cent expect budgets to be unchanged, 38 per cent expect an increase and 15 per cent predict a decline.
Yael Klein, managing director of AirPlus UK, said: “I believe that a stable business travel market should definitely be seen in a positive light. Many other large European business travel markets, including France, Italy and Spain, predict spending to go down, albeit marginally. As business travel spend seems to point quite consistently to the state of the national economy, we would hope this is therefore a good indication for the outlook of our economy over the next 12 months.”
The reason for a greater proportion of buyers expecting budget increases rather than an increase in the number of flights was that many expect the cost of air travel to rise. Two-fifths, 41 per cent, expect prices to increase while 43 per cent expect them to stay the same, with just 16 per cent predicting a drop in fares. Some 36 per cent of buyers expect an increase in the number of hotel rooms booked over the year, up from 16 per cent compared with last year’s survey.