Efficiency 'key' to expanding business travel sector

Feb 6,  2014

http://news.opodo.co.uk/NewsDetails/2014-02-06/Efficiency__key__to_expanding_business_travel_sector

After several fallow years in which companies curtailed their travel arrangements as a result of the global economic downturn, spending on business travel is once more rising. According to new figures, 2013 saw a rise in the number of trips taken by employees, with an average of 13.1 trips per person sanctioned last year, up from 12.7 in 2012.

The research, comprising a survey of 400 regular business travellers from across the UK and Ireland that was carried out by travel technology specialist Amadeus, also indicated that more people are travelling, as well as existing travellers taking more trips.

In fact, the percentage of individuals who took one or more business trip last year has nearly doubled in the past two years, from four per cent in 2011 to eight per cent in 2013.

While more business travel is being sanctioned, that doesn't mean that companies are spending freely. In fact, there is significant emphasis being placed on efficiency. Interestingly among the travellers themselves, personalisation is another key theme, with two-thirds claiming that factors such as extra legroom, dietary requests and luggage allowances are major influencing factors on their travel arrangements.

Connectivity is also a major issue, with 18 per cent saying that their top requirement when travelling is being able to stay connected with the office via Wi-Fi hotspots.

Despite the rise in business travel, many are operating with cut budgets - in fact more than a fifth (21 per cent) say that their main priority is efficiency - for example, booking hotels close to where they are meeting. This is a good way to save substantial amounts of time which can then instead be used for something more productive.

Diane Bouzebiba, managing director of Amadeus for the UK and Ireland, commented: "We are delighted to see the growing optimism in economic outlook translating into an increase in travel as indicated by our survey, especially given the pivotal role it plays in both employee and customer satisfaction."ADNFCR-408-ID-801690756-ADNFCR