-¬---Cautious optimism-¬~ over business travel recovery
More than half of German companies are confident in seeing an upturn in business travel before the end of the year.
A poll of members of the Association of German Travel management (VDR) for trade show ITB found that a quarter of those questioned expect to see a recovery in business travel activity at the start of next year.
Only ten per cent of companies expressed their concern that there would not be a recovery in business travel.
Almost 60% of VDR member companies are still paying particular attention to costs and are seeking cheaper travel options.
Only 11% of these companies are cutting out all travel which is not absolutely necessary, compared with twice as many in October 2009, according to the latest survey by the VDR.
Companies are making more use of web, video and telephone conferencing as a means of reducing their travel costs. One third of the VDR member companies that were questioned now apply such technology as a substitute for business travel.
A further 20% are following this trend for other reasons, such as improving internal communication.
The snap poll was conducted among the 512 members of the VDR at the beginning of February. A total of 126 companies took part.
Dr Martin Buck, director of the competence centre travel & logistics at show organiser Messe Berlin, said: "The trend that has been revealed by the latest snap poll by the VDR is giving the industry reasons for cautious optimism. This is good news for ITB Berlin.
"Stringent travel guidelines, which have met with complete acceptance within the companies, and are being consistently applied, not only offer tangible benefits for travel management but also ensure high levels of reliability and professionalism in the dealings between companies" customers and service providers."
ITB Berlin 2010 takes place from March 10-14.
by Phil Davies
Thursday, March 4, 2010