Brexit will have a negative effect on air and hotel costs over the next year, according to the majority of travel buyers.

An ITM study found that 70 per cent of buyers feel the EU referendum result will affect cost of flying with 63 per cent predicting it will hit the cost of hotels.

However, the report found it’s a case of “business as usual until it’s not”. When asked “is your organisation planning to do anything as a result of Brexit, 90 per cent said no.

Brexit doesn’t appear to have hampered buyer’s business confidence levels with 54 per cent expecting growth this year and 48 per cent expecting an increase in travel for this year compared to 2016.

The first 2017 outlook report, which surveyed 100 buyers, focuses on business sentiment, and includes global activity and megatrend insights for the year ahead for planning purposes.

The report showed that traveller security, cost reduction and budget control were buyers’ top priorities for this year.

“Managing cost increases from suppliers, while at the same time being expected by senior management to rein in travel spend, is going to be one of the biggest issues that travel managers face in 2017,” said ITM chairman, Mark Cuschieri.

“There is no doubt that 2017 will be an incredibly tricky year for travel managers. We are living in an age of disruption – the triggering of Article 50 post-Brexit, Donald Trump’s first 100-days in office, global economic uncertainty and the rapid evolution of digital technologies.”

The survey highlighted the fact that Buyers will be challenged to manage cost increases from suppliers, whilst at the same time being expected to rein in travel spend in 2017. ITM said this provides an opportunity for travel managers to promote compliance as a “sure-fire way on keeping a lid of spending”.

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