Friday, 31 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: What's in store for meetings organisers in 2014?

According to the 2014 American Express Meetings & Events Global Meetings Forecast, following two years of modest budget and activity increases, flat or slight declines in meetings spend per organisation are expected across all regions heading into 2014. Industry activity appears likely to be stabilising due to a rise in meetings-related policies designed to ensure meetings comply with company guidelines and deliver against strategic objectives. Across all regions, meeting organisers will likely continue to face challenges as they strive to achieve more with flat or decreasing budgets expected, compared to previous years.  In addition, the forecast also identifies four key trends which may help to shape meeting planning globally in 2014.

  • Increased scrutiny
Senior executives are seeking greater visibility into M&E spending, and assurances that activity is aligned to company objectives. As a result, meeting planners will place greater emphasis on a rigorous meetings approval process, and on setting and adhering to strict guidelines that address the potentially high-risk areas of the meetings supply chain such as meetings approval, payment, reporting and auditing.

  • Close to home
We expect meeting planners to organise more local and regional meetings to make the most of restricted budgets and reduce time out of the office. Compliance, cost and travel time are the top drivers of this trend.

  • Meeting venues and rates
Non-traditional properties, such as outdoor venues, universities and aquariums, are becoming increasingly popular as meeting venues. There is also an increasing trend towards incorporating group fares in strategic meetings programmes.

  • Group Air rates
Group air rates are expected to remain relatively flat this or see some very modest increases over the next two years. As planners become more aware of the cost advantages, and flexibility and security benefits associated with group bookings fares, they are likely to focus more on this area. Many planners looking to find increased savings in a world where budgets are remaining stable but meeting needs are growing, are likely to turn to group air to help alleviate a bit of pressure.

  • Technology trumps all
Meeting planners are expected to face greater pressure to incorporate meeting-specific apps and social media technologies into their events. Expectations regarding interactivity with other attendees, the ability to share opinions and ‘review’ a meeting in progress, as well as access to deeper information about presenters and content, are growing among meeting attendees. However, meeting planners and owners need to have clear strategies for incorporating and managing social media within their events to help deliver positive outcomes.

In 2014, meeting planners have an opportunity to demonstrate the value of events by continuing to look for opportunities to contain costs and increase efficiency including taking advantage of group fares and local venues and embracing new technologies to enhance the meeting experience and outcomes.

This blog was written by Michael Schuller, Vice President, American Express Meetings & Events, Europe. American Express Meetings & Events is exhibiting at this year’s Business Travel Show, stand B1033.  

Thursday, 30 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: Let the games begin

Business travellers are booking out of policy – we know that. One half of hotel reservations are made outside the approved booking tool*, and 59 percent of business travellers reported booking at least one major part of their latest trip out of policy**.

They’re generally not doing it to hurt your company. In fact, 79 percent of business travellers reported they booked out of policy to get a better deal**. The problem is, those deals aren’t necessarily better. On average, travellers who book out of policy spend $2,881 more on business trips than they needed to**. Travellers want to do right by their company but don’t always know how. For example, corporate negotiated rates can help to keep costs down, but travellers can’t access those rates if booking directly with an airline. In addition to lost savings, out-of-policy bookings can result in fragmented or incomplete data that can make locating travellers during a crisis more difficult, weaken negotiations with suppliers and hinder smart decision-making.

So, what are your options? You can let it continue. You can look for open booking technology that lets travellers book however they want while aggregating your data. Or you can implement a modern engagement strategy that connects travellers with your travel programme and goals using gamification mechanics. By sitting on top of your current booking platform, this is likely the fastest, most efficient and most fun fix.

Compliance isn’t top of mind for today’s travellers. Gamification – a modern, incentives-based engagement strategy that uses competition and collaboration to motivate desired behaviours – can help align the interests of your employees with your company’s cost and compliance aims. Rather than using penalties to enforce policies, modern engagement effortlessly educates travellers on how and why to make smart travel decisions, and uses friendly competition, badges, points and leader boards to encourage them to book within your policy.

 How Modern Engagement Helps Travellers
  • Set goals 
  • Track and improve performance 
  • Receive real-time feedback 
 How Modern Engagement Helps Companies

  • Promote desired behaviours 
  • Improve traveller satisfaction and loyalty 
  • Improve traveller experience 
This post was written by Alicia L. Tillman, Vice President, Deal Consulting and Business Services,
American Express Global Business Travel who are exhibiting at the Business Travel Show 4-5 February 2014. Register now at 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: Responsible travel management as a means to corporate social responsibility

As a socially responsible corporation, the security and welfare of your employees and their families is one of your main priorities. This includes employees that are posted on overseas missions, perhaps to one of the post-conflict areas of the world.

So how do you exercise responsible travel management?

As a socially responsible organisation, you need to consider the priorities when sending your employees overseas, perhaps accompanied by their family members.

It is only right that you are concerned about safety, security, and welfare. The first two things that might come across your mind might be responsibly choosing the air carrier and hotel accommodation; however, travel insurance is what you should really be thinking about in this world of uncertainty.

A travel insurance policy provides cover for your employees while traveling abroad on business trips against unforeseen events that can result in injury or even death. Also, your employees would be put at ease knowing that they have access to medical treatment and baggage claims should the need arise.

These things are typical concerns when the destination is to a stable territory. What if you are sending employees to a post-conflict territory, say Iraq, Libya, or even Afghanistan? This is when travel insurance becomes even more important in your travel management. In addition to having a standard travel policy in force, now it becomes vital that you make sure that your employees are covered against extreme events such as kidnap & ransom, blackmail & extortion, hi-jack or terrorism, what is called a “Crisis Assistance Plan”. As drastic as it may sound, these sorts of incidents can occur. 

You might think that this will be an expensive and time-consuming insurance cover to arrange; well, it doesn’t have to be...

So, the insurance solutions are out there; the questions to ask yourself as an employer are: “Am I providing responsible travel management to my employees?, and, is the insurance cover as good as it should be?”

Posted by Lubna Amasheh at AAIB, who are exhibiting in the Responsible Travel Management zone at the Business Travel Show on 4-5 February 2014.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: Why being green will save your business money

The concept of electric cars is nothing new and perhaps best described as a slow starter but this is set to change and indeed is already changing.

Benefits to the pocket
As a business, the benefits to your bottom line are vital and the electric vehicle comes with many.

Let’s start with fuel costs, per mile it has been calculated to be around 1/3 to 1/4 the cost of petrol and diesel powered vehicles. A saving of approximate 9p per mile which for a business running a fleet of company cars would provide a welcome saving with the added nous of these vehicles being exempt from fuel & vehicle excise duty. Maintenance costs for traditional cars can be costly but as the electric vehicle requires no oil changes maintenance costs will also be reduced.

As well as the obvious savings on fuel and maintenance, employees and employers are exempt from company car tax from their income and National insurance contributions.
It is possible to claim 100% first year enhanced capital allowances (ECA) so the full cost of the car can be allocated against taxable profits in the year the vehicle was purchased.

Benefits to the environment

Good business is about driving efficiency and having a great image. With an electric car you can achieve both these goals just by making the decision to switch.

Although the way in which the electricity is produced to run the vehicles is still of a concern the actual exhaust emissions are zero which is an appealing benefit to both a company from an image perspective and the obvious benefits to the environment. Electric vehicles convert around 59-62% of energy from the grid in to power to the wheels compared to petrol engine vehicles which only convert around 17-21% of the energy created to power them.

The factors outlined are certainly attractive enough for businesses to consider a bold change in this direction and we will see more and more taking the plunge by showing their support for a cheaper, cleaner and more efficient transport strategy.

This article was written by Barry Cooper, Marketing Manager of Sixt rent a car (,  please visit them at the Business Travel Show on stand B917 for more information. Register now to attend - 

GUEST BLOG: Are your business travellers savvy?

With more than 11 million internet-enabled devices given as gifts for Christmas  the UK Government has launched a new campaign highlighting the lapse security precautions taken by ourselves and as businesses whilst online. Have you ever thought how cautious you are with your own personal and business details? Do you have responsibility for your travellers and their online security?

As Managing Director of a technology company I can see that the internet has radically changed the way we work and socialise. It has created a wealth of opportunities, but with these opportunities there are also threats.  Travel Managers’ when creating their travel policies need to ensure that they are complied with in order to make savings but there is also a trend for travel managers to allow more autonomy for their travellers which could mean access to booking and travel aps etc. online. With that there is a risk factor and often travel programmes and risk management go hand in hand.

Figures from the government’s National Cyber Security Consumer Tracker found:
-only 44% always install internet security software on new equipment
-only 37% download updates and patches for personal computers when prompted
- less than a third (30%) habitually use complex passwords to protect online accounts
-57% do not always check websites are secure before making
- Almost a third (32%) of those who admit to not installing security software on internet devices blame a lack of understanding.

If your policies are about enabling your travellers to do more there are also question to be raised about are they safe? Is your business data safe?

The Governments ‘Cyber Streetwise’ campaign comes complete with its own website featuring ‘Cyber Street’ which aims to change the way online safety is viewed with resources, hints and tips to ensure people are protecting themselves properly online. Though to ensure that you keep your own personal and business details safe the main resource you can use is your own common sense, would you buy a £1000 laptop from a dodgy market stall? Allowing travellers devices and more autonomy is great but do we really understand all the risks and are we preventing them?  

This blog was written by Mark Pattman, managing director of Roaming Expert who are exhibiting at the Business Travel Show. 

Monday, 27 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: The traveller manifesto: How future consumers are transforming business travel

A manifesto is a statement of belief.  As the Business Travel Show marks its 20th anniversary, we believe that the industry is in the midst of a profound transformation.

Over the last decade, the ‘Digital Wave’ – social, ‘Always On’, multiplatform computing – has been reshaping the business landscape and empowering consumers.  It has also accelerated the blending of work and leisure travel habits and preferences.  Over the next ten years, we believe that business travel will become an inspirational experience through personalised, technology-infused services.

According to our recent Future of Travel study*, 6 out of 10 British Millennials already extend their travel into leisure trips and 79% use their Smartphone and/or Tablet for booking travel and monitoring itineraries, a number only surpassed by Norway at 83% across Europe.

As these personal and business work styles ‘blur’, the premium Millennials place on valid ‘value exchanges’ will become even more real:  UK business travellers score higher than other Europeans in willingness to store or save personal data on travel sites in exchange for incentives (discounts, loyalty points, upgrades, etc), with Norway and Spain coming in at 83% and 72% respectively.

Lastly, Millennials are communicators. They prioritize and invest in 2 way communications before, during and after their trips. Specifically, 75% of UK employees consider travel reviews to be important for business, the highest level in Europe after Spain which is at 76%.  

Looking forward, what does this mean?

The advent of social networks and proliferation of user generated content has always been about end user empowerment. In 2002, Egencia disrupted the industry by unlocking travel agent information and bringing it to the traveller.  As we look ahead, we see a corporate travel landscape that continues to be consumer-inspired, integrates global technology with advanced services and supports the mobile work force.

The ‘moments of truth’ business travellers have – making an informed reservation, the need for safety, the ability to alter and share itineraries mid-trip, will not change.  The way they experience these moments will. 
In order to deliver on this promise, TMCs must provide access to full content, itinerary flexibility and next-generation customer services.  For their part, Travel Managers can take advantage of these macrotrends to drive productivity by infusing their programs with traveller preferences, enabling multiplatform communications and maximizing the power of smartphones, tablets and PCs for their travellers.  

A manifesto is a statement of belief.

As we define the future of travel, let’s engage with our travellers by delivering empowering, integrated, and personal experiences that will make life, and  ‘life on the road’,  an inspiration.
* The Future of Travel, study co-authored by Egencia and Expedia, Inc.

Jeannette Liendo is Global Director, Marketing Communications, Egencia, an Expedia, Inc. company. During BTS, she will be leading the workshop “Blurred Lines: The Future of Business Travel” on Wednesday, Feb. 5 from 10.15 to 11.30 at the Business Hub Theatre.

Friday, 24 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: Because not all business travel is business class

You may have read about the government’s plans to encourage rail operators to decrease the amount of first class carriages on trains. And you may have also been nose-to-nose on a crowded train commute, staring into an empty first class carriage in the past. So is reducing the number of first class carriages a logical proposal? I think it does.

Over the last few years we have seen many of our clients move away from first class rail travel to standard class, with first class ticket purchases dropping from 30 per cent to only 11 per cent. Many clients now have it mandated in travel policies not to travel first class on rail journeys. However, we aren’t seeing a drop in rail purchases overall, which indicates the standard class offer is providing what people need on longer business journeys.

A recent GTMC rail survey highlights that 77 per cent of passengers believe that the ability to work on the move is one of the biggest factors (after speed, comfort and cost) when taking the train, over other modes of transport. We have also recently highlighted - via the results of our total impact report (featured in the Jan/Feb issue of The Business Travel Magazine) - that on some domestic routes clients can save time, money and CO2 emissions by taking the train, all of which supports that rail travel is a very business travel friendly option.

While longer routes will and should always have a first class option, I believe that creating more standard class space, and making that space workable for business travellers is the way forward.

This blog post was written by Nigel Turner, Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s director of programme management and business development. Carlson Wagonlit is exhibiting at the Business Travel Show on 4-5 February 2014. Register now at

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: Arranging Travel for ‘Corporate Celebrities’ Takes a Special Skillset

Company travel policies don’t always fit the needs of senior executives. Their busy, complicated lifestyles create different expectations and demand a much deeper level of understanding. Their needs can also change suddenly, and this requires a different level of support to that provided by most TMCs. Time is money and every second counts.

Most people associate arranging travel for elite clients with movie stars or music industry moguls.  In fact the bulk of VIP clients fall into the “corporate celebrity” category – CEOs who are at the pinnacle of their career, or the top partner in a city law firm, for example.

Attention to detail is vital – if you are booking a trip to the US for a VIP, it’s not just about booking the client’s favourite airline seat, it’s about making sure he or she stays in their favourite hotel room, and enjoys their favourite dish cooked exactly the way they want it, when they want it.

Never assume one trip is the same as the next and be prepared to go the extra mile – it’s definitely not a nine to five job. Organising a private jet at the last minute so that a major contract can be signed over international airspace takes a special kind of skillset.

It’s also important to get to know your client exceptionally well, especially their PAs and Executive Assistants, to really understand their personal needs and idiosyncrasies. Try to put yourself in their position and imagine exactly what they expect when they travel.

Looking after the business travel needs of corporate celebs often spills over into their private leisure travel. These elite clients are used to a bespoke service when they travel on business, and they expect the same when travelling as private clients with their families.  Relationship building lies at the heart of arranging private travel because so many individuals are involved in the booking process – work and home PAs, house managers, wives, ex-wives and offspring. Understanding the dynamics and needs of each one, thinking outside the box, and tailoring journeys to suit each client’s lifestyle is the key to success.

This post was written by Alison Brown, Head of Elite & Private Clients at Chambers Travel Group.

Monday, 20 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: Responsible Travel: Considerations for an Effective Risk Management Programme

With today’s global business expansion and growing mobile workforce, travel and risk managers are becoming much savvier about using ‘smart’ risk management tools and best practice considerations when developing and enhancing their travel and risk management programmes. In the wake of political and civil unrest, terrorism, natural disasters and health alerts crossing into many of our country’s borders, organisations cannot afford to not have a robust travel and risk management programme. Preparation and pre-trip planning, threat and traveller monitoring, communications and emergency response planning and training are all fundamental activities that should be included in a risk management programme.

While cost containment and compliance is a reality in today’s organisations – and often a key driver for travel and risk management policies - responsible travel and risk management transcends beyond cost containment and compliance policies to proactive engagement with travellers and expatriates throughout their entire travel journeys. It begins with pre-trip planning and destination preparation. Having accurate intelligence on the political, environmental, cultural, criminal, health and travel requirements of a destination helps travellers to be informed and prepared for their travel, enabling them to avoid or mitigate risky situations.

Knowing where personnel are located during travel and expatriate assignments is important for travel and risk management. But knowing where potential threats are relative to the locations of an organisation’s personnel enables travel and risk managers to be even more effective and responsive in protecting their personnel. Real-time threat alerts and traveller tracking technologies are examples of smart tools that organisations can leverage to bolster their risk management programmes.

Savvy travel and risk managers also know that being proactive and prepared for a security or medical emergency is an effective approach to protecting personnel. An effective risk management programme is not only developing emergency response protocols, but practicing and communicating them throughout the organization so that they are known and well understood. Knowing what to do and whom to call in an emergency situation can help a traveller or expatriate avoid and get out of harm’s way quickly instead of being surprised, uncertain and potentially unsafe. 

Leverage best risk management practices and guidelines, innovative technologies, and emergency planning to build a robust risk management programme. Broadly communicate the policies across the organisation. Then practice, monitor, measure and tune/update the program. Doing so can help organisation’s develop a responsible risk management programme that enables them to protect their people and meet Duty of Care obligations.
This post was written by Marianne Hoski, marketing director, iJET International, who are exhibiting at the Business Travel Show alongside AXA Assistance. To register for the show, which takes place 4-5 February, please visit 

Thursday, 16 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: Enforcing travel policy across the seven Cs

Business travel often falls within the job specification of the procurement department. But it’s very different from buying stationery. Travel is an emotional issue. Employees don’t care about the type of paperclips their employers buy, but they do care about the type of travel, so it’s important to create a clear set of guidelines.

When creating a travel policy, make sure you navigate the seven Cs:

Culture – every company has a different set of shared values and practices. It’s important that a travel policy reflects your corporate culture

Care the best way to ensure Duty of Care towards your travellers is to ensure that your policy works and travellers comply with it.

Content include all travel elements. Air travel gives you the greatest potential for savings, but also for overspending.  Hotel rates should include extras such as breakfast and wifi. Rail travel is prone to leakage. Ancillaries such as car hire, transfers, and visas will be more cost-effective if booked in advance

Comprehensiveness a successful policy covers everything – how to book, approval processes, designated class of travel, how many hotel nights are allowed per meeting,  expense allowances, payment methods, advance booking requirements, and travel documentation

Communicationensure that you have a solid communication plan in place, backed by a senior manager. Don’t just rely on the staff intranet. Never underestimate the importance of winning the hearts and minds of company executives, so that they buy into the policy.

Control – approval processes need to be stringent and manageable. Work in partnership with your TMC to ensure compliance by travellers and bookers

Compliance - make sure bookers and travellers stick to the policy and book within its guidelines. Use your TMC’s expertise and MI reporting to show compliance on a cost-centre and individual level

No one likes being told what to do, but a well thought-out, clearly communicated travel policy is the only way to achieve savings on business travel spend, however large or small.

This post was written by Jo Greenfield, General Manager, FCm Travel Solutions UK.

For further information visit

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: Quantifying the ROI

Optimising hotel spend and improving programme compliance continue to be key priorities for organisations, given that on average almost 40% of a company’s total travel budget goes on hotel-related expenditure (CWT T.M.I., 2009). 

Much has been written and discussed on the benefits and challenges in managing this category of spend effectively, particularly given the changes in hotel pricing models and the impact of ‘Managed Travel 2.0’.

In the end, whilst the debate rages, the fact is that the vast majority of organisations do still undertake the rate sourcing process in some fashion on a very regular (usually annual) basis and one of the loudest and – to date – most challenging questions is ‘what is the return on investment’?

To put facts and figures to the anecdotal evidence, Lanyon commissioned a report to look into this very conundrum. 

The figures show a very powerful reason for embracing the concept of Total Hospitality Spend Management:

The client’s 3-year investment of US$415k (GB£254k / EUR303k) generates a positive return in 4.2 months with a return on investment (RoI) of 448%.  

For a copy of the full report and to find out more about Lanyon's services please visit them at the Business Travel Show on stand B736. Register now at

Monday, 13 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: Does the hotel sourcing process ever end?

It would be great to think that, having been through the process to RFP hotels, evaluate the bids, renegotiate on all the key elements of value to your organisation, and communicate the final decisions to all concerned, that the work was done and we could move on to something else. But the fact still remains that we have really only just begun. There is still a widespread belief that savings are generated once lower rates are renegotiated with hotel suppliers and rates are available to be booked at the negotiated rate once negotiations are finalised but the reality is all too often quite different.

Preferred rates only create the platform for savings to accrue to the business.  Actual savings only occur when room nights are booked at the lower, negotiated rate.  Contracting a rate does not automatically ensure the correct rate is loaded or available to be booked by travellers

As hotels are responsible for loading the accepted negotiated hotel rates at property level, and agencies are responsible for loading the GDS access security link tables, no one person or group has control over the entire process.

Rate loading errors are costing corporations an estimated EUR5bn each year in additional expense.  A client with EUR30m in spend can spend an additional EUR1.5m per year due to Rate Integrity issues.  Corporate buyers are aware of the need to conduct rate audits, but the vast majority conducts just one rate audit per year.  Even those that audit more than once do not then continuously monitor rates throughout the year.

Preferred Rates contracted with LRA (Last Room Availability) can be completely and correctly loaded, but may still not be available to be booked.

NLRA (Non Last Room Availability) rates give no guarantees that the rate will be honoured and allow the hotel to increase the rate at will. Millions of EUR are invested in annual rate negotiation processes, yet billions of EUR in value do not materialise. So what’s the solution? 

There are a number of compliance measurement and support tools to ensure that the hard work put into rate contracting is turned into concrete savings for the organisation.

An initial audit of the GDS is imperative to ensure that all negotiated pricing has been completely and correctly loaded by all hotels in every applicable CRS.  The problem is that a rate loaded correctly today may not be visible to the bookers by the time they need to book.  From time to time individual properties may decide to withdraw negotiated inventory or submit higher than agreed negotiated pricing without your knowledge.  You therefore need to follow up with additional Rate Availability Reporting that will keep checking that your preferred properties are offering the negotiated terms at the point of sale.  That will keep a check on what is being displayed in the GDS – but you also need to keep an eye on non-GDS inventory!  You can also get reports that compare the negotiated rates at your preferred properties against the public that is being offered directly through online travel agency (OTA) and/or hotel supplier websites.  Your travellers may well be checking these alternative sites themselves and if lower rates appear to be available, this threatens to undermine the integrity of the whole rate sourcing process.

And if you still aren’t sure there’s any quantifiable RoI in on-going reporting, take a moment to review the findings of the following analysis.  The table below (Table 1) shows the potential cost exposure, for a current Lanyon client, in the event that contracted rates are not honoured.  Based on analysis of a single Rate Availability Report, the potential cost exposure across the full year is significant and shows how essential it is to maintain on-going compliance management.

Sourcing, of itself, won’t generate the savings – strategic programme management will.  This is why, if the final stage of the procurement process – implementation – does not happen, the sourcing process remains just that – a process without a purpose.

This blog was written by Jean Squires at Lanyon, who are exhibiting in the Business Travel Tech Zone at the Business Travel Show on 4-5 February 2014. For more information please contact Jean directly at To register to attend the Business Travel Show please visit 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: The potential for the SME market and business travel

Despite the pressures of the recent tough trading conditions it would seem that the small and medium sized enterprises (SME) sector has risen to the challenge with many companies looking to fill the gap caused by the UK’s sluggish finances by looking further afield for new business opportunities. Since 2012 the number of trade missions operated by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has increased substantially to accommodate small businesses looking to expand to overseas markets.

The SME sector is defined as comprising some 99 per cent of the 4.8 million businesses in the UK, which is why it has been identified as having the potential to generate growth and get the country back on track. Small companies are better placed to react quickly to the latest market opportunities and expand into new areas quickly, which is why they have been recognised as key to generating growth and revitalising the economy. However, it would be a mistake to ignore very small companies as tightly controlled overheads and small staffing numbers all contribute to higher revenues. And there is also the potential for smaller businesses to develop into larger organisations.

As a business support organisation, LCCI is unique in that its members represent global organisations as well as SMEs. Known as the voice of London business, as well as organising trade seminars and missions, LCCI is aware that smaller organisations have great potential for business travel. Many SMEs make their own travel arrangements relying on their office manager or PA to source the best deals in the belief that this is the most cost effective way to control travel budgets. However, more often than not the truth is that this ad hoc approach can cost time and money, which is why the services of a reliable travel management company can be invaluable and a visit to the Business Travel Show, which takes place in London 4-5 February 2014, will also be a huge help. 

More than 200 suppliers showcase products, serviced and solutions at the show, which is attended by in excess of 6,000 travel professionals. Exhibitors include the likes of Virgin Atlantic, easyJet, Hilton, Marriott, Eurostar and Addison Lee. And the conference programme includes more than 70 sessions, including a Fundamentals track, which is perfect for SMEs, PAs and office managers to learn practical tips and takeaways for buying business travel better. 

This post was written by LCCI , who will be exhibiting at the Business Travel Show on stand B1095. Register now for free at 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014


It's that time of year again - happy New Year, by the way - the time when we look forward to what's going to impact business travel buying over the next 12 months. At the Business Travel Show, we have carried out an annual buyer survey for the last four years. Each year, we ask buyers to spill all about the forthcoming 12 months. And here are the results for 2014. 
  • 76%will have more money to spend 
  • 49% are being asked to book more trips
  • 76% of airline budgets will be the same or greater
  • 74% of accommodation budgets will be the same or greater
  • 83%  of buyers will be expected to book the same or more trips
  • This is the third consecutive annual rise in the number of buyers enjoying bigger budgets 
  • In 2013, 72 per cent of budgets were higher or the same
  • In 2012, 67 per cent of budgets were higher

2014 v 2013
2013 v 2012
2012 v 2011
Percentage of business travel buyers with increased budgets



Airline budgets
39% - greater
37% - the same

Accommodation budgets
38% - greater
36% - the same

Number of trips managed
More – 49%
The same – 34%
Fewer – 9%
More – 57%
The same – 22%
Fewer – 22%

183 travel, category and procurement managers took part in the survey for the Business Travel Show, which takes place 4-5 February 2014 in London. The majority of respondents were UK-based, 55 per cent control budgets in excess of £3 million and 65 per cent manage programmes with in excess of 500 business travellers.

We also asked them about the biggest issues facing them and the industry over the next 12 months. Here are the top 20 responses:

Travel management 2.0
Relaxation of policy
Airline bankruptcy
Integration of social and travel tools
Meetings management
Ancillary fees
Mobile apps
Technological developments
Risk management
Free Wi-Fi in hotels and on airlines
Virtual meetings
Fuel increases
Less reliance on TMCs

Personally, I think these results are great news for buyers. They have faced intense pressure over the last couple of years to cut costs and stretch budgets. The figures also support the GBTA’s own predictions that the UK business travel industry is heading for very strong growth in 2014 and 2015 and, following a trying few years, western Europe’s major markets should see a bounce back over the next five years.

This post was written by Business Travel Show event director David Chapple. Find out more about buying business travel better at the Business Travel Show, 4-5 February 2014. Register now at