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The GTMC’s first quarterly review for 2015 shows continued increase in business travel transactions

The results from the GTMC’s first quarter transaction survey of 2015 have revealed that members’ air transactions are up for the eighth quarter in a row. Likewise, GDP continues to grow, and while the air transactions rate of increase is just two per cent, business travel transactions in other sectors have risen sharply. Rail bookings have seen a particularly strong increase of 15 per cent.

In addition, during this first quarter of the year, GTMC members’ transactions in hotels were up seven per cent and car hire shows a rise of three per cent. The sharper increase in rail and hotel bookings can be explained in one of two ways – domestic orders are increasing more sharply than exports as the pound continues to strengthen, or simply that more rail and hotel bookings are being made through TMCs rather than alternative channels.  

GTMC chief executive, Paul Wait, commented:   “As we can see, there is a continuing trend of increases in transactions and GDP, demonstrating the value of business travel to business growth. Both the service sector and consumer demand are continuing to drive growth in UK output and in turn we are seeing an increase in transactions from members offering domestic travel services across rail, hotels and car hire.  

“As the pound continues to remain strong and UK competitiveness in the global market is challenged as a result, the onus is on business owners to invest in air travel to international markets to support the growth effort overseas. There needs to be greater economic health in the UK’s biggest export market, the Eurozone, and greater ambition in new markets. The only way that this can be secured is by businesses investing in business travel.  

“These results reflect the transactions made during January-March this year, the final full quarter of trading during the Conservative–Liberal Democrat Coalition Government and a period of uncertainty about the future. As we enter into a new Government under the Conservatives we anticipate the effects this will bring to the UK economy.  

“In their election manifesto the Conservatives confirmed their commitment to improving transport facilities and infrastructure in a number of areas relevant to business travel: support for high speed rail, action to reduce rail fares and investment in additional motorway construction. These all have critical roles to play in laying solid foundations from which UK plc can increase business travel and therefore grow the economy.”  

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.

Representing a diverse range of travel management companies – from global companies to small independent specialists and top regional agencies – the 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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