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New research from ITM and ATPI Corporate Travel predicts buoyant year for travel in 2016 as confidence grows in the Professional Services Sector

Two thirds of professional services senior personnel questioned in a new poll conducted by The Institute of Travel & Meetings (ITM) and ATPI Corporate Travel have predicted that there will be significantly more business travel in 2016 than there has been in 2015.

Confidence in the economy is clearly improving. When asked for their business predictions for 2016, 53 per cent of travel managers said that they thought their travellers would travel more in 2016. 44 per cent stated they were likely to spend more on business travel next year too, but perhaps predictably 58 per cent also said they also wanted to reduce travel costs in 2016. Business confidence may be high but travel procurement professionals haven’t shaken off ‘prudence’ just yet.  

In another boost for business 80 per cent of respondents said they were ‘very’ or ‘quite’ confident when asked about their fiscal outlook for 2016.  

With Parliament due to respond imminently to the Davies Commission report on the future of UK airport capacity, the research asked respondents what would be the one thing that would improve business travel in 2016. Interestingly, changes to Gatwick or Heathrow were not at the top of the list, suggesting that there appears to be fatigue around the topic. Instead the expansion of the regional hub airports and the HS2 rail link carried more popular sway than spending money on expanding either Heathrow or Gatwick (14 per cent and five per cent respectively).  

The research was conducted by ITM for ATPI Corporate Travel Service and was completed by 36 senior travel managers, working in the professional services sector.  

 Adam Knights, UK managing director of the ATPI Group comments:  “Our research brings some positive predictions for business travellers in the coming 12 months. With the economy continuing to recover in the UK, the value that employers place on travel is heartening. Whilst there are many imminent changes and opportunities coming in future years, when thinking about business travel those in professional services are planning for the long term.”  

The economic confidence from the professional services sector comes as ATPI Corporate Travel Services relaunches its specialist division dedicated to the complex needs of businesses in sectors such as financial, legal and insurance. The dedicated support for professional services clients is delivered by a team of specialist consultants and account managers who deliver a tailored travel programme including monthly strategic reviews, detailed management information reporting, flexible working hours and bespoke customer dashboards.  

The enhanced ‘City Service’ for the professional services sector also includes many of the features developed initially by the ATPI Group for the offshore energy and shipping sectors. Comprehensive duty of care programmes, traveller tracking systems and a dedicated in-house 24/7 passport and visa team means that the new service is more consultancy style giving tailored strategic advice.  

The ATPI Group has over 100 offices worldwide and has successful operations in corporate travel, shipping and energy travel, corporate event management and online travel technology.

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