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GTMC second quarterly review shows hotel and rail transactions boost

The second quarterly 2015 review from the GTMC’s transaction survey has revealed that members’ aggregated transactions have increased by a huge 12 per cent year-on-year (comparing Q2 2015 with Q2 2014). This comes as GDP grew by 0.7 per cent during Q2 and by 2.6 per cent year-on-year.

Whilst transaction numbers show a healthy increase, average ticket prices are down slightly. Partially contributing to this is strong short haul travel, above average purchasing of tickets with restrictions and long haul economy travel which some airlines mistakenly think is “leisure travel demand”.  

Interestingly, business rail and hotel bookings are growing more sharply than air. According to ATOC, GTMC members’ Q2 rail transactions are a huge 26.9 per cent higher than those in 2014. As with air, the volume is growing slightly more quickly than the revenue so the average transaction value is slightly down. The size of the growth in both value and volume reinforces the relative health of domestic business and orders in relation to that from abroad.  

GTMC chief executive, Paul Wait, commented: “There are mixed messages within this quarterly review. Growth of the UK economy is higher than in any other G7 country (except for possibly Japan); inflation is low and the strength of the pound against the euro and dollar is making exports challenging. While the General Election brought stability and renewed market confidence, there still isn’t the confidence levels that were enjoyed in 2014. However, the double digit per cent increase in air, rail and hotel shows clearly that business travel is on the up. As businesses realise the opportunities that come with investing in travel rather than playing it safe, past trends show us that the low transaction values will be the next in line to improve.  

“On a positive note, preliminary trade figures show that UK investment abroad is increasing and that should precipitate more business travel. Current worldwide economic uncertainty needs to settle into Q3 and then a business travel forecast too should become clearer and steadier.”  

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 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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