Corporate travel spend for 2011 to increase: survey

Guest Writer

Corporate travel spend is expected to surge next year if a survey conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executive (ACTE) is anything to go by.The vast majority of respondents to the ‘2011 Travel Spend Survey’ – 64% from Europe and 70% from the US – anticipate greater travel spend in 2011, with most attributing this to increased travel frequency and not just higher costs - clearly showing that business activity will increase in 2011.In fact, 66% of European ACTE members and 60% of those in the US are expecting their company’s employees to travel more in 2011 than in the two previous years of the recession.More than half the European member companies questioned expect their travel spend to increase by between 5% and 15%, compared with 43% of those in the US, where 22% of respondents predict an increase in travel spend of between 1% and 5% and 5.4% expect a spend increase of 20% or more.On the issue of controlling costs, the vast majority of US respondents (73%) will be encouraging, or even mandating the use of preferred vendors, with 62% encouraging or mandating booking channels; just over half encouraging or mandating the use of travel alternatives “when travel can be replaced”; and 57% encouraging or mandating hotel booking through preferred channels. The results from European respondents are broadly similar. However, 68% say they will encourage or mandate booking at least 14 days in advance, compared with just 54% of US member respondents.According to the ACTE survey, a mere 11% of European ACTE member companies plan to control costs by “managing a previously unmanaged aspect of travel, such as corporate housing or parking”, compared with 16% of those from the US, yet 38% foresee a consolidation of meeting spend – which is 11% more than those in the US.Just 5.4% of US ACTE respondents and 6.4% of those from Europe will be encouraging shorter trip stays, the survey concludes.”Business travel has always been held up as a key performance indicator of any economy and the findings from the ACTE survey of members shows clearly that economic performance may well move ahead, across the globe, next year” commented ACTE President Chris Crowley. “We intend to monitor our members, and their confidence, booking trends and general travel expenditure closely over the coming months as we watch the recovery of the World economy as business people increase their travelling and international trade picks up”.

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