These figures are set against the background of the UK’s GDP growth slowing to 0.4 per cent in Q1. Transaction performance of the UK’s top Travel Management Companies (TMCs) suggests that companies are investing in business travel as a way to sure up growth and compete for business in 2016.
Speculation for economic slowdown includes the uncertainty surrounding the EU Referendum and slowing global growth affecting some sectors of the economy.
Breaking down the sectors by type of transaction, the strongest demand has been in rail travel with an increase of six per cent followed by air travel with an increase of two per cent. On-going increases in business travel highlight the ongoing strong performance of the TMC sector, despite the broader economic climate.
GTMC chief executive, Paul Wait, commented: “We remain cautiously positive for business travel transactions this year. Whilst we don’t assume that the levels of growth we have seen in the first quarter of the year will continue to outpace the economy’s performance, TMCs are doing a great job to help their clients get the best value out of their business travel budgets. Ongoing drives for business efficiency being realised by TMCs is helping our members prove their value to clients.”
Issued to coincide with the GTMC’s overseas conference held in May, the GTMC commissioned Oxford Economics to research the value of business travel to the UK economy. Supporting the GTMC’s cautiously positive outlook over the previous quarter, the new report concludes that if international business travel returns to pre-financial crisis levels within the next five years, this could add as much as £6.5 billion to the value of UK trade. Using this evidence, business travel clearly drives business performance and has a positive effect on the UK economy and TMCs need to use this data to prove their contribution.
The GTMC’s member companies account for over 80 per cent of all UK expenditure on managed business travel and the quarterly survey monitors a range of services 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.