Published on Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Business travel sector reports growth

UK travel management companies have reported a 4% year-on-year rise in transactions for 2012.

The GTMC, which represents the UK's leading TMCs, published its final quarter transaction survey of 2012 showing a 4% rise for the three months to October to December.

For the full year, hotel sales rose 3% on 2011, rail saw a 9% jump and car hire increased 9%.

Air sales were static for the October to December period but managed a 2012 2% increase over 2011 sales.

Other services, such as consultancy services, ferries, visas, currency exchange and meet and greet, recorded a massive 17% decrease year on year.

GTMC chief executive 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."

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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.