Tuesday 6 January 2015


The Business Travel Show's annual buyer forecast, released today, has revealed that one third of European business travel buyers will have more money to spend in 2015. This is undoubtedly good news and, despite being a slight drop on previous years, is still a strong indication that the market is heading in the right direction. It is also  in line with predictions from the GBTA that Europe will enjoy a five per cent increase in business travel spend this year. 

The fact that 45 per cent of buyers also expect to manage more trips this year shows that, despite having more money to spend, they are still being pressured into getting more for their money and making budgets work harder.

Airline highlights from the survey: 

  • 36 per cent of buyers enjoyed bigger airline budgets in 2014 and a further third predict airline budgets will increase again for 2015.
  • Nine per cent of buyers don’t currently – or have plans to – use low cost carriers. 26 per cent plan to increase their usage in 2015.
  • 38 per cent of buyers bought fewer business class seats in 2014 and 23 per cent will only provide business class travel for flights over eight hours
Accommodation highlights from the survey: 
  • Almost one third (31 per cent) of buyers had more to spend on accommodation in 2014.
  • All buyers use budget hotels, though for 82 per cent they account for less than 50 per cent of the room nights they book. 12 per cent of buyers used budget accommodation more or significantly more in 2014.
  • Serviced apartments account for less than 10 per cent of room nights for 84 per cent of buyers though 12 per cent of buyers did increase their use of apartments in 2014.
  • Top 20 issues facing buyers in 2015:
     Airline pricing – increases, lack of transparency and negotiation concerns
     Controlling costs and managing spend
Travel management 2.0
     Compliance and enforcing policy adherence
     Increased hotel rates
     Traveller safety
Meetings management
     Cost savings
Mobile apps
     Ancillary fees
Technological developments
     The role of the TMC
Free Wi-Fi in hotels and on airlines
     Online adoption
     Cost increases
     Balancing traveller needs while staying within budget
     Online vs TMC pricing
Relaxation of policy
Airline bankruptcy
     GDS content
Integration of social and travel tools
     Supplier consolidation
Ancillary fees
     Mobile technology & solutions
     Airline consolidation
Risk management
     Availability and variety of low cost leisure tools
Virtual meetings
     The move towards traveller management
Fuel increases
     Stakeholder management
Less reliance on TMCs

179 travel buyers took part in the sixth Business Travel Show annual survey in October 2014. 73 per cent of respondents worked in the UK and the remaining 27 per cent in continental Europe.

Respondents’ travel budget:  %
Less than £150k/€185k  21%
£151k-£500k/€186k-€625k   8%
£501k-£1m/€626k-€1.3m   8%
£1m-£3m/€1.3m-€3.75m   16%
£3m-£10m/€3.75m-€12.5m  14%
£10m+/€12.5m+ 33%

Number of travellers responsible for:   %
Fewer than 50   20%
51-100    8%
101-500   15%
501-1000   10%
1000+   43%
N.A.  4%

179 travel buyers took part in the Business Travel Show survey - 73 per cent from the UK and 27 per cent from continental Europe. The full Corporate Travel Industry Trend Report featuring analysis going back to 2008 will be available to all buyers who pre-register for the show, which takes place 25-26 February 2015 at Olympia Grand in London.

This blog post was written by David Chapple, event director, Business Travel Show. You can chat to David on Twitter @david_chapple or email him - david@businesstravelshow.com 

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