Business travel buyers expecting larger budgets in 2018

TMCs predict 2016 as a year of growth
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Travel Management Companies (TMCs) could be set to see a welcome rise in corporate travel spending over the year ahead, according to a new report.

A survey carried out by the organisers of the Business Travel Show has revealed that around four in ten buyers expect to have bigger corporate travel budgets in 2018, up from 32 per cent who predicted an increase when asked the same question last year.

Of the 243 buyers surveyed, 49 per cent specifically noted that they will have more to spend on air travel and accommodation, while 45 per cent believe they will have more trips to manage. However, 47 per cent also expected total travel costs to rise, which could offset the positive impact of these enlarged budgets.

Nevertheless, the findings offer evidence that confidence is returning to the corporate travel sector after a difficult few years, with the percentage of buyers expecting a budget increase having decreased each year from 2011 to 2016, from 39 per cent to a low of 29 per cent.

David Chapple, event director for the Business Travel Show, said: "This time last year, geopolitical events such as Brexit and the imminent inauguration of President Trump left many concerned for the economy and the widespread feeling of uncertainty about what the future holds undoubtedly leaked into the corporate travel market.

"The results of our survey, however, indicate that caution in business travel was short-lived and budgets and growth appear to be healthier than ever."

Mr Chapple added that many in the industry are actually expecting corporate travel to outperform many other industries, as businesses invest more in travel as they seek alternative trade avenues beyond Europe due to the effect of the Brexit vote.

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