Business travel budgets drop for 2015, finds survey

Business travel budgets drop for 2015, finds surveyThe percentage of European business travel buyers having more money to spend in 2015 has dropped over previous years.

The figure of one third (33%) compares with 37% who saw budgets rise in 2014 and 39% of buyers who had more money to spend in 2012 and 2011, according to the results of the annual buyer survey commissioned by the Business Travel Show.

Almost half (45%) of buyers expect to manage more trips this year, down from 48% in 2014. Half (47%) of buyers expect their overall costs to rise.

Airline pricing was voted as the biggest concern facing buyers in 2015, followed by cost control, compliance, increased hotel rates and traveller safety.

More than a third (36%) of the 179 buyers polled had bigger airline budgets and a further third predict airline budgets will increase again for 2015.

Just 9% of buyers do not – or have plans to – use low cost carriers while 26% plan to increase their usage in 2015.

A total of 38% of buyers bought fewer business class seats in 2014 and 23% will only provide business class travel for flights over eight hours.

Almost one third (31%) of buyers had more to spend on accommodation in 2014.

All said they use budget hotels, though for 82% they account for less than half of the room nights booked. A total of 12% used budget accommodation more or significantly more in 2014.

Serviced apartments account for less than 10% of room nights for 84% of buyers though 12% increased their use of apartments in 2014.

Business Travel Show event director David Chapple said: “This year’s survey shows budgets are continuing to head in the right direction, which is great news and in line with predictions from the Gbta that Europe will enjoy a five per cent increase in business travel spend this year.

“But there is no doubt that buyers are still under pressure to buy smarter, negotiate harder and stretch their budgets for maximum results.”

The full Corporate Travel Industry Trend Report featuring analysis going back to 2008 will be available to buyers who pre-register for the show at Olympia Grand in London on February 25-26.

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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