The number of corporate travel buyers predicting bigger budgets for the next 12 months is at a five-year high, according to a recent survey.

Research carried out by the Business Travel Show reveals 41 per cent of buyers polled said they would have more money to spend in 2020, compared to just 33 per cent last year. Forty per cent said their budget will stay the same, while only 19 per cent said their pot will shrink.

However, the number of respondents forecasting an increase in travel costs was also at a record high at 49 per cent compared to 43 per cent in 2019. There was also a significant uptick in those expecting to manage more trips (52 per cent versus 33 per cent).

Accommodation seems to be the source of the most worry for travel managers, with 65 per cent predicting an increase in room nights (compared to 40 per cent last year). But 45 per cent said they’ll have more money to spend on accommodation in 2020 – an increase of 16 per cent year-on-year.

Forty-one per cent will have bigger airline budgets, up from 31 per cent in 2019, and an equal amount said their air travel purse will stay the same.

David Chapple, Business Travel Show group event director, commented: “Last year’s survey showed a downturn in numbers across the board – with fewer buyers predicting airline, accommodation and overall budget increases. This was unsurprising with Brexit on the horizon and businesses holding back on both decision-making and spending. These figures appear to show a return to form and are back on par (if not slightly above) 2018’s statistics, which is very encouraging news for the industry.”

Business Travel Show takes place 26-27 February at Olympia London, featuring more than 260 exhibitors and an extensive conference programme. Travel buyers can apply for a place on the hosted buyer programme, which includes access to exclusive education sessions and a dedicated diary of appointments with suppliers.

To find out more, or to register, visit businesstravelshow.com

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