Data shows most-booked destinations in the UK, Europe and internationally, as Company unveils a new flexible and personalised travel service for UK businessesBusiness travellers based in the United Kingdom (UK) are most frequently travelling to cities within emerging economies and technology hubs, as well as traditional business centres in the UK and worldwide, according to new data from American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). GBT is working with UK companies to help them benefit from its global scale and local expertise when booking domestic and international business travel and has announced a new flexible personalised travel service for UK travellers.
Encompassing all air and rail bookings made directly with GBT by UK-based travellers in 2014, the data provides a snapshot of business travel flows within, and from, the UK. London, Amsterdam and New York emerge as the top destinations for domestic, European and wider international business travel respectively according to all UK-based travel booked with GBT in 2014.
“As this data shows, in an increasingly globalised world, travellers from UK businesses are journeying both near and far to support their companies’ objectives. Our aim is to make it easy for our customers to create travel programmes that fulfil their needs, whether that involves travel across the UK – or across continents.” said Champa Magesh, Vice President and General Manager UK, American Express Global Business Travel.
“Our customers have told us what they want, and we’ve listened. In response, we have created a ‘one-stop shop’ service for UK business travellers, which provides them with one phone number to call to book and manage all of their business travel requirements from air and rail to hotel and ground transportation, and the travel manager will have access to all of that traveller’s booking information regardless of the channel through which their itinerary was booked. Combining a flexible, personalised service with online tools and a large range of content, we provide a seamless personal experience for UK travellers both on and offline, 24 hours a day.”
GBT has invested in people and technologies to tailor its service to UK businesses. GBT customers benefit from its global access and scale combined with local expertise, and can expect:
• A named, preferred agent and small servicing team
• A single number to call and a single email address to contact for all services including air, rail and hotel bookings
• A customisable online booking tool to facilitate all booking types – for example, two different travel policies can be loaded within this, or trip reason codes added
• Total programme management (including dedicated account management) to help UK businesses to evolve their travel programmes and realise their business goals
• Reporting tools that provide actionable insights to help companies better control spend
• 24/7 global support
• Access to GBT’s PREFERRED EXTRAS programme which offers uniquely negotiated rates and amenities across hotel and car suppliers
• Access to a wide range of content including not only air but also domestic rail and Eurostar fares, as well as more than 250,000 properties from both GDS and non-GDS sources. This can provide GBT customers greater choice and flexibility, whilst also driving policy compliance.
• The option to access AX CONNECT, GBT’s traveller care solution which enables travel managers to pinpoint impacted travellers, communicate with them via email and SMS, and prioritise aid to those travellers with the greatest need during a time of disruption.
• Access to GBT’s integration with Tripcase, a leading itinerary management tool, that allows GBT clients to manage their business trips alongside their leisure trips in one mobile application.
London leads the UK scoreboard, with Scottish cities and Belfast also strong
The most-booked domestic destination for UK business travellers was, perhaps unsurprisingly, London, closely followed by a quartet of Scottish and Northern Irish cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast and Aberdeen. The high placement of these four cities reveals strong business flows between the north and south of the UK, with these home nations clearly playing an important role in the UK economy.
As outlined in the table below, Manchester and Birmingham, traditional business hubs, are placed at number six and seven respectively. The presence of Southampton and Bristol within the top ten destinations demonstrates that business in the south of England isn’t confined to London, with these regional hubs attracting a high number of business travel bookings.
Amsterdam and Dublin lead European business travel bookings
When it comes to Europe, Amsterdam is the most-booked business travel destination, squeezing out Germany’s big cities and Paris, a traditionally popular destination, from the top spot. Perhaps more surprising is Amsterdam’s dominance over Dublin, where many large corporations are headquartered.
Germany is the only country with more than one city in the top ten destinations, as befits its status as the Eurozone’s economic powerhouse. However, outliers such as Madrid, Milan and Copenhagen indicate that UK companies still see significant value in business relationships within other European nations. When it comes to international business travel, the US remains a key destination but emerging markets are making headway
Travellers from UK businesses are also journeying further afield. Outside Europe, the financial centres of New York and Dubai lead bookings made by UK-based travellers. San Francisco’s placement at number three may suggest that the technology hub of Silicon Valley remains an important business hub for UK companies.
Singapore and Hong Kong – traditional bastions of western business in Asia – remain strong, but the presence of Johannesburg, Shanghai and Mumbai on the list evidences the growing importance of emerging economies to UK businesses