The majority of UK travel buyers are not expecting to see a decline in business trips this year, according to a survey by corporate card specialist Airplus.

The company quizzed 100 UK-based buyers on the prospects for 2013 as part of a global survey of more than 2,000 corporate travel managers.

Some 64 per cent of British buyers said they thought the number of trips would be the same as last year while 28 per cent believed that travel would increase with only 7 per cent expecting a decline.

As for spending on travel, 45 per cent of UK buyers thought this would also be flat in 2013 although 38 per cent expected it to increase with 15 per cent predicting a reduction in spending.

Some 41 per cent of buyers said that airfares would rise this year with 43 per cent saying they would stay the same. While 44 per cent thought the cost of accommodation would rise this year with 40 per cent expecting rates to be flat.

Most UK travel managers also expected the volumes and costs of car rental, rail and meetings to be around the same level as 2012.

Yael Klein, managing director of Airplus UK, said: “I believe that a stable business travel market should definitely been seen in a positive light. Many other large European business travel markets, including France, Italy and Spain, predict spending to go down, albeit marginally.

“As business travel spend seems to point quite consistently to the state of the national economy, we would hope this is therefore a good indication for the outlook of our economy over the next 12 months.”


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