Travel managers in the Asia Pacific region have an optimistic outlook for the coming year, with 53 per cent expecting an increase in business trips.

According to the latest figures in Airplus’ 13th International Travel Management Study (ITMS), 35 per cent of travel managers worldwide believe they will see more business trips this year. Only 8 per cent predict a decrease.

It is the highest percentage of travel managers to predict an increase since 2015.

Those in the Asia Pacific region are the most optimistic, with more than half foreseeing growth, compared to managers in Europe (27 per cent).

Interestingly, global economic trends seem to have had very little effect on travel managers; only 20 per cent claimed these trends are having a negative effect on business travel, while 27 per cent went so far as to say they’ve noticed a positive effect.

However, major events such as Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency have impacted feedback from travel managers in the UK and US, as many reported an increase in negative economic effects compared to previous years.

Danielle Jones, country manager for Australia at Airplus International, commented: “It’s an interesting time for business travel. Despite what some have predicted, we’re seeing no let-up on business travel demand in Australia; in fact our travel management clients are looking to us to help them plan even more expected trips this year.

“As business travel expectations change and more travellers look for a seamless end-to-end experience, virtual cards will become much more commonplace. You only have to look at the number of people using mobile phones to pay for their goods in shops to see where we’re heading.”

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