Strong year for European business travel predicted by GBTA
Thursday, November 8, 2012
As any company that has tried to win new clients in the middle of a recession knows, face-to-face meetings are crucial for sealing the deal. In today's challenging economy, the need for executives who can forge new relationships with one another in person has never been greater - yet many companies are still looking for ways to reduce their expenditure and shave precious dollars off their corporate travel budgets. While choosing to stay in serviced apartments is one way for business travelers to accomplish this, new data from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) suggests that some European countries have a bullish outlook on travel spending in 2013, reports CNN.
Data from the GBTA suggests that, of the leading European economic powers, Germany will lead the way in terms of increased business travel spending. Next year, companies across Germany will spend approximately $52.5 billion on corporate travel, an increase of 3.3 percent from this year's figures. The GBTA's data also indicates that of all the European countries studied, Germany was the only nation to increase spending in 2012, which rose by a modest 1.6 percent.
While establishing new business relationships has never been more important, neither has the need for executives to maintain a certain standard of trip in order to remain productive. For many companies, corporate apartments provide the standard that many executives are used to without compromising on quality.
"I take dozens of trips a year, and around 30 to 35 of those are international," Paul Tilstone, managing director of the GBTA in Europe, told the news source. "If I had to travel in economy all the time it would take its toll on my well being. It's about finding a balance. You don't want your employees becoming less productive individuals."
Sign of the times
The Germans are not the only ones expecting a strong year in terms of growth in the business sector. Many states in the U.S. remain optimistic about corporate travel in the New Year. According to the Denver Post, corporate travel in Colorado is expected to increase in 2013 as the economy begins to stabilize.
Destination Hotels and Resorts, a hospitality management company based in Englewood, Colorado, 30 percent of planners polled by the organization said they expect to increase the number of meetings booked next year, while 20 percent anticipate more flexible corporate travel budgets. Some analysts believe that this trend might be seen across several business sectors.