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Friday, 29 May 2015

Member Blog: The Importance of Business Travel

By Alan McDonagh - Roomex

Recent rises and falls in business sentiment have been reflected in the amount of business related travel being carried out by company executives.

As the recession bit, and costs were cut, approval for business related travel was slashed across all industries but recent reports suggest this reactionary policy was a mistake. The US Travel Association’s 2013 “Travel Effect” report detailed statistical modelling carried out over 18 years and 14 industries which indicates that for every dollar spent on business travel, US companies have experienced a $9.50 return in terms of revenue.

Oxford Economics reports that companies that held firm and continued to travel during the recession are now reaping the rewards as they are better positioned to avail of an uptake in the clients’ fortunes. Not all cuts are smart cuts and surely turning off face to face time with your clients or prospects, the very people that can help you turn around your business fortunes is the least smart cut of all.

All indicators are that business travel is bouncing back after a difficult couple of years. Roomex, a leading corporate hotel booking platform and Chamber member has just completed its Q1 2015 year review and the numbers are very encouraging, some of the key findings:

Corporate hotel bookings through Roomex for Business are up by over 50% over the same period last year
International travel has increased by 23%
Availability in key locations remains an issue as occupancy rates are often above 90%

Business travellers are on the road more often with each of Roomex’s top corporate clients having booked more room nights this year than in the same period last year. Roomex constantly strives to control the cost of this increased travel even though room rates have increased throughout UK and Europe. Business executives instinctively know the importance of their face-to-face meetings with almost two-thirds stating that increasing business travel expenditure would have a positive impact on company revenue and profitability. They also believe that 40% of existing customers would eventually be lost without in-person meetings.

As companies do begin to travel more again it is often under the control of more restrictive travel policies. Roomex for Business is founded on saving time and money for its corporate clients. Critically, Roomex has managed to return an average saving of 21% to their clients in Q1 2015 and this comes at no cost to the customer. A clear message from their customer base is that they want more control over their travel management programme. Strong contracting, technology and customer support are the key ingredients that allow that control to be ceded directly to travel bookers, giving them the tools to book hotels 24/7 on a device of their choice.

For more information contact Alan McDonagh:

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