GTMC Q1 results reveal buoyant business travel market

Business travellers are turning to trains, GTMC report suggests
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The business travel industry is experiencing something of a boom, according to statistics released by the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC). 

It stated that the number of flights booked through its members had increased for the eighth consecutive quarter and air transactions had risen by two per cent in the first quarter of 2015. 

Rail travel is increasing in popularity 

What may be surprising to some travel management companies (TMCs) is the increasing popularity of rail travel. 

The statistics show the number of rail bookings rose by a significant 15 per cent in Q1 of 2015, making them the area of business travel transactions which has experienced the most growth in the first three months of the year. 

Hotel bookings through GTMC members increased by seven per cent, while car hire was up by three per cent. 

GTMC hints that the UK's economy is too reliant on domestic market 

Paul Wait, chief executive of the GTMC, suggested that growth in the service sector and a rise in consumer demand are driving the economy in the UK. As a result, demand for domestic rail travel, car hire and hotel bookings is rising. 

However, he warned that a strong pound is hampering the UK's "competitiveness in the global market". 

"The onus is on business owners to invest in air travel to international markets to support the growth effort overseas," he said. 

Investment in the Eurozone and new, emerging markets will help the economy to grow, but Mr Wait warned the only way this will happen is if companies understand the importance of investing in business travel. 

GTMC suggests one-party government could be good for business               

Mr Wait went on to suggest the fact that the UK is now governed by a single party may be advantageous to the economy and will help make the business travel sector more stable. 

He said the results of the first quarter of 2015 came during the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government when there was what he described as "a period of uncertainty about the future". 

Perhaps in a bid to reassure those in the business travel sector, Mr Wait pointed out that the Conservatives have promised to improve the transport infrastructure and facilities within the UK. 

In their election manifesto they stated they would concentrate on cutting rail fares, putting further investment into the country's motorways, and support the high speed rail project. 

While it is not a TMC's job to persuade a company to undertake more travel, it does help to be aware of wider issues which may help encourage businesses to send their employees on business trips. 

In order to be effective, it is important that TMCs provide the most cost-effective and appropriate travel options for their clients. Being efficient is an essential and expected part of the service. 

Products like ProCon Solution's ProTAS software allow TMCs to automate all of their back office processes, making them up to one-third more efficient and reducing the risk of errors. 

The software is also capable of producing in-depth reports that help companies to keep track of their employees' travel habits and provides them with the data to make any necessary adjustments. 

ProCon Solution A/S
Herstedøstervej 27-29
DK-2620 Albertslund
Phone: +45 4363 2266