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Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) final quarter sales exceed UK GDP

Results from the GTMC’s final quarter transaction survey of 2013 have revealed transactions amongst travel management companies grew by 7 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2012. This far exceeds UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for the same quarter, which saw the economy record 0.7 per cent growth.  

The GTMC’s membership accounts for over 80 per cent of UK expenditure on managed business travel. The quarterly survey monitors a range of services offered by travel management companies and highlights trends in the business travel sector.  The full year comparison against 2012 showed GTMC 2013 overall transactions recording a 6 per cent increase, far surpassing the UK as a whole, despite the economy growing at fastest rate since 2007.

October to December 2013 saw hotel sales rise by 15 per cent when compared to the same quarter last year with a 12 per cent increase on 2012; rail saw a 7 per cent increase in the quarter and 5 per cent year on year and car hire increased 5 per cent in the quarter and 8 per cent year on year.  Air sales registered a 3 per cent uptick for the year and managed a 4 per cent increase in the fourth quarter. A decrease of 3 per cent in the quarter on ‘other’ services such as, consultancy services, ferries, visas, currency exchange and meet and greet, was recorded with a 6 per cent increase recorded for the year on year comparison.

GTMC chief executive Paul Wait commented: “The GTMC 2013 year end transaction figures are very positive, proving that business travel is continuing to go from strength to strength. The recent Deloitte survey of CFO’s also gives reason to be optimistic with 57 per cent stating that now is a good time to be putting risk back on to the balance sheet and therefore a good time to start looking at expanding businesses, investing and exporting. This, combined with our recent figures suggests that we have every reason to be confident that this gradual increase in year over year growth will continue into 2014 and beyond.

Now that the people holding the purse strings are becoming more optimistic, the overall economic outlook is positive. Confidence has a big impact on business behaviour and this attitude shift should deliver increased demand for business travel.

Moreover, with airline pricing strategies continuing to be more and more complex, the need for a TMC that can navigate the field and bring knowledge and value to the table has never been more crucial. This is where a TMC really proves their worth in being able to ensure that the travel they recommend is right – be it for budgets, business objectives, cultures, or more often than not, a combination of all three.”

Representing a diverse range of travel management companies – from global companies to small independent specialists and top regional agencies – the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) is the voice of business travel and acts to lobby those who have an impact on the business travel community, together with promoting the activities of its members as the best in quality and value to the business traveller.

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