Brexit forces prices up for UK corporate travel buyers

Business Travel Show 22-23 February 2017, Olympia London.

UK business travel buyers are facing higher prices thanks to Brexit. Seven months to the day Britons voted in the European Referendum and less than a week since Prime Minister Theresa May set out her stall for a hard Brexit, a Business Travel Show poll has revealed that prices have already increased for 16 per cent of corporate travel buyers in Britain. This compares to just 6 per cent across continual Europe.  

178 travel buyers - 61 per cent of whom work in the UK – were asked: “What impact will Brexit have on client confidence and buying behaviours?” 11% of buyers on mainland Europe are playing the waiting game and holding off from investing in travel. This compares to just 4% in the UK. 80% of British buyers believe it’s a case of ‘business as usual, slightly fewer than the 83% in the rest of Europe. 

The Business Travel Show is hosting a panel session on Brexit next month to help buyers understand what it could mean for their travel programme. Panellists include:
• Rohitesh Dhawan, Director – Brexit Global Centre of Excellence, KPMG
• Mark Cuschieri, Chairman, Institute of Travel Management
• Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive, ABTA

Asked how Brexit will affect their job, the following business travel professionals commented: Rosy Burnie, Travel Advisor and Former Global HQ Office Manager, Luvata: “Currently, it's business as usual. The world is bigger than Brexit. However, the uncertainty means that future investment projects go on hold.” 

Shaun Hinds, Managing Director, EMEA & APAC, Bridge Street Apartments: “The extended stay sector was built on, among other things, projects as a mainstay of its customer base. Brexit is the biggest project we are likely to see in a generation and so can only be an opportunity – some reports cite up to 30,000 jobs being required to deliver Brexit. The Chief Brexit officers and their teams will need somewhere to stay.”

Kevin Iwamoto, Global Consulting: “For those of us in the consulting world, this will add more business engagements as corporations and programme owners look for ways to gauge potential impacts on their collective programs and policies.”

David Chapple, event director, Business Travel Show, added: “The UK’s decision to leave the EU has created many questions about the future, and corporate travel is no exception. Our panel of thought leaders will spell out potential changes to prepare for, both for travel managers based in the UK and those whose companies visit on business.”