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18 August 2014 | Gurjit Degun
Travel buyers across the world have a more optimistic outlook on business travel, anticipating more trips, longer stays and higher budgets, according to the latest analysis from AirPlus International.
The company’s third Trend Letter which asked 1,500 travel managers worldwide for their views on how the current economic situation will affect business travel for their organisation.
It found the share of companies expecting a positive outlook on business travel has risen by 5 per cent to 17 per cent. The report added that regions such as South America and Eastern Europe have “enjoyed a large increase in travel optimism” as a result of the World Cup in Brazil and the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. “Other regions such as Asia Pacific and South Africa seem to have a more negative view of the future than they did in September last year,” said AirPlus.
Of the respondents expecting a positive outlook, 83 per cent said there will be more frequent business trips, compared with the 63 per cent who predicted this in September last year. Longer business trips are expected by 45 per cent of the respondents; and more than a third anticipate the relaxing of travel guidelines in their own organisation, as well as higher individual travel budgets.
The travel managers who said the economic situation will have a negative impact on business travel, cite reduced travel activity (82 per cent) and a tightening of travel guidelines (68 per cent) as a consequence.
“Almost half of the surveyed travel managers connect the negative effects with a decline in trip length,” the report said. “Only 3 per cent associate the negative effect with an entire discontinuation of travel. A complete termination of travel is generally used in very few companies, and distinctly fewer than in September 2013.”