The Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC)’s first quarter transaction survey of 2013 shows transactions among travel management companies grew by seven per cent compared to the same quarter in 2012. GTMC says this far exceeds UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures for the same quarter, which saw the economy record 0.7 per cent growth.
The GTMC’s membership accounts for over 80 per cent of UK expenditure on managed business travel. The quarterly survey monitors a range of services offered by travel management companies and highlights trends in the business travel sector. The full year comparison against 2012 showed GTMC 2013 overall transactions recording a six per cent increase.
The survey revealed October to December 2013 saw hotel sales rise by 15 per cent when compared to the same quarter last year, with a 12 per cent increase on 2012; rail saw a seven per cent increase in the quarter and a five per cent increase year on year; and car hire increased five per cent in the quarter and eight per cent year on year.
Air sales registered a three per cent up tick for the year, according to the survey, and managed a four per cent increase in the fourth quarter. A decrease of three per cent in the quarter on ’other’ services such as consultancy services, ferries, visas, currency exchange and meet and greet, was recorded with a six per cent increase on 2012.
“The GTMC 2013 year-end transaction figures are positive, proving that business travel is continuing to go from strength to strength,” says GTMC Chief Executive Paul Wait. “The recent Deloitte survey of CFO’s also gives reason to be optimistic with 57 per cent stating that now is a good time to be putting risk back on the balance sheet and therefore a good time to start looking at expanding businesses, investing and exporting. This, combined with our recent figures, suggests that we have every reason to be confident that this gradual increase in year over year growth will continue into 2014 and beyond.
“Now that the people holding the purse strings are becoming more optimistic, the overall economic outlook is positive. Confidence has a big impact on business behaviour and this attitude shift should deliver increased demand for business travel,” he adds.
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