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Corporate travel buyer budget forecasts at five-year high

The number of corporate travel buyers forecasting bigger budgets for the year ahead is at a five-year high, according to annual research conducted by Business Travel Show. 41 per cent of buyers polled said they would have more money to spend on travel in 2020, compared to 33 per cent last year.

The volume of buyers predicting an increase in travel costs was also at a record high (49 per cent compared to 43 per cent in 2018) and there was significant uplift in those expecting to manage more trips (52 per cent compared to 33 per cent).

114 European buyers took part in this year’s Business Travel Show poll, 56 per cent from the UK, 35 per cent from continental Europe and 9 per cent from the rest of the world. 61 per cent of buyers responded control budgets in excess of £1m.

Other highlights from the survey:

• 45 per cent of buyers polled will have more to spend on accommodation in 2020 – an increase of 16 per cent on 2019
• 65 per cent are expecting to book more room nights, compared to 40 per cent a year ago
• 41 per cent will have bigger airline budgets, rising 10 per cent over last year

Business Travel Show group event director David Chapple said: “Last year’s survey showed a downturn in numbers across the board – with fewer buyers predicting airline, accommodation and overall budget increases. This was unsurprising with Brexit on the horizon and businesses holding back on both decision-making and spending. These figures appear to show a return to form and are back on par (if not slightly above) 2018’s statistics, which is very encouraging news for the industry.”

Business Travel Show takes place 26-27 February 2020 at Olympia London and ‘conscious travel’ is one of its themes for this year, with much of the show’s content hinging on how buyers can deliver more ethical travel programmes. Visitors will also enjoy a moment of serenity in the new Wellness Retreat, where they will find innovative solutions for improved traveller wellbeing.

Business Travel Show will welcome more than 9,000 visitors, more than 260 exhibitors and more than 400 buyers on its hosted programme. The conference programme will feature more than 90 hours of content, 88 sessions and more than 120 speakers.