According to the latest figures released in AirPlus International’s thirteenth global International Travel Management Study (ITMS), 35 percent of travel managers predict the number of business travel trips to increase this year compared to just eight per cent who predict the number of trips to decrease. The last time there was as much as a 35 percent increase expected globally was in 2015.
In the Asia Pacific region in particular, travel managers were more optimistic than in some other regions across the world, with 53 percent of travel managers saying they expect business travel trips to increase. In comparison in Europe for example, just 27 per cent of travel managers predicted an increase in the number of business trips.
Interestingly, current global economic trends seem to have had little effect on business travel management. Just 20 percent of travel managers worldwide claimed current economic trends were having negative economic effects on business travel, compared to 27 percent who said they were actually having positive economic effects.
However, fairly recent political and economic events in the UK, Turkey and the US such as Brexit, Erdogan and Trump may have impacted feedback from travel managers in these countries as they reported an increase in negative economic effects compared to previous years.
Commenting on the findings, Danielle Jones, Country Manager – Australia for AirPlus International said:
“It’s an interesting time for business travel. Despite what some have predicted, we’re seeing no let up on business travel demand in Australia; in fact our travel management clients are looking to us to help them plan even more expected trips this year.
We’re focusing on making the business travel experience even more transparent and connected for business travellers and travel managers, especially for those using our virtual travel card, A.I.D.A, which together with global financial partner Mastercard, we’re looking to expand even further this year.
As business travel expectations change and more travellers look for a seamless end-to-end experience, virtual cards will become much more commonplace. You only have to look at the number of people using mobile phones to pay for their goods in shops to see where we’re heading.”