UK Business Travel Grows Despite Economic Slowdown

Business travel in the UK has grown in 2012, even while the country’s economy was registering a slowdown in the same period.

A report published by UK-based Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) said, that the last quarter of 2012 showed a 4 percent overall increase of services offered by travel management companies, when compared to the same quarter in 2011. This infers that the travel industry has grown even when UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the same quarter saw zero growth. For the full year 2012, members of the GTMC have recorded a 4 percent increase over the same period in 2011.

In the period from October to December 2012, hotel sales have increased by 2 percent when compared to the same quarter in the preceding year; rail recorded a 10 percent increase in the last quarter of 2012, and 9 percent increase year on year. Car hire has increased by 7 percent in the last quarter of 2012 and 9 percent year on year.

The association’s chief executive officer, Paul Wait, said, ‘The GTMC 2012 year end transaction figures are very heartening, business travel is still buoyant and deals are being done. Similar to the commentary coming out of the City regarding the strength and growth of share prices, suggesting growing business confidence, the GTMC survey proves that despite the economic performance to date air travel transactions have remained at a constant level.

I have maintained a position that business travel should be regarded as an investment and not a cost and that it is vital to a successful company performance. The Coalition Government in its mid-term review has stated that business growth is one of its key objectives and therefore it is essential that UK companies increase their investment in business travel to achieve this goal.’