Prospect of Brexit forcing business travel costs upwards

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 23 January 2017


UK: A recent poll of travel buyers has revealed that the cost of business travel is rising faster in the UK than in continental Europe.

The Business Travel Show poll revealed that, seven months since the referendum and a week after prime minister Theresa May set out her stall for a hard Brexit, prices have already increased for 16 per cent of corporate travel buyers in Britain. This compares to just six per cent across continual Europe.
A poll of 178 travel buyers - 61 per cent of whom work in the UK - asked: "What impact will Brexit have on client confidence and buying behaviours?" The results show that 11 per cent of buyers in mainland Europe are "playing the waiting game" and holding off from investing in travel. This compares to just four per cent in the UK, while 80 per cent of British buyers believe it's a case of "business as usual", slightly fewer than the 83 per cent in the rest of Europe.
The Business Travel Show is hosting a panel session on Brexit next month to help buyers understand what it could mean for their travel programme. Panellists include:
• Rohitesh Dhawan, director - Brexit Global Centre of Excellence, KPMG
• Mark Cuschieri, chairman, Institute of Travel Management
• Mark Tanzer, chief executive, ABTA

The poll also asked business travel professionals how they expect Brexit to affect their businesses.
Rosy Burnie, travel advisor and former global HQ office manager for Luvata, said: "Currently, it's business as usual. The world is bigger than Brexit. However, the uncertainty means that future investment projects go on hold."

Shaun Hinds, managing director, EMEA & APAC at BridgeStreet Global Hospitality, said: "The extended stay sector was built on, among other things, projects as a mainstay of its customer base. Brexit is the biggest project we are likely to see in a generation and so can only be an opportunity - some reports cite up to 30,000 jobs being required to deliver Brexit. The chief Brexit officers and their teams will need somewhere to stay."     

Kevin Iwamoto of Global Consulting said:: "For those of us in the consulting world, this will add more business engagements as corporations and programme owners look for ways to gauge potential impacts on their collective programs and policies."

David Chapple, Business Travel Show event director, added: "The UK's decision to leave the EU has created many questions about the future, and corporate travel is no exception. Our panel of thought leaders will spell out potential changes to prepare for, both for travel managers based in the UK and those whose companies visit on business."


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