Business Travel Forecast 2018: Insights from Europe

Business Travel Forecast 2018 | Insights from Europe

At the 27th EVP trade fair, American Express Global Business Travel revealed the figures in its European Business Travel Forecast for 2018.

The results of the European Business Travel Forecast 2018 were unveiled at the EVP, the annual business travel trade fair organised by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). A thousand companies of all different sizes and based in 11 countries around Europe took part in the survey.

Four main tendencies came out of the forecast. Companies are continuing to focus on security and improve the traveller experience. They want to consider their traveller’s satisfaction, optimise costs and to leverage mobile phone technology to a greater extent.

Taking traveller satisfaction into account

Among the latest tendencies in business travel, the forecast revealed that traveller satisfaction needs to be taken into account more. While it is still of secondary importance in France, it is now a priority in Germany.

European companies are focusing on greater comfort for their employees to increase their productivity. They are investing in particular in developing security solutions, improving customer service, simplifying the expenses process and the best possible re-booking process in the event of delays.

Using mobile phones to book

83% of companies think that smartphones are an ideal method of booking in addition to offline and online channels. Being able to change your trip, pay more easily, check in and receive updates are the main advantages according to the businesses who took part in the survey.

Mistrust of the sharing economy

The sharing economy is a significant way of rationalising costs for 40% of those surveyed, but Europe remains reticent to call on this kind of company. Examples of companies in the sharing economy include companies such as Uber and AirBnb.

According to the Forecast, 52% of those who replied said that they would call on this type of service in the next month to two years. 20% said that they were against those involved in shareconomy, mentioning the lack of data and personal security, cancellation and reimbursement conditions being less favourable than those offered by traditional providers, and awkward payment solutions.

Traditional travel management vs. online operators

Traditional travel management companies (TMCs) face greater competition, in particular from online operators, although GBT does underline the fact that using an agency is a good way of limiting open booking. "When TMCs are the main agency, they are by far and away the best way of limiting open booking, as they make up directly or indirectly 76% of reservations. In short, they reinforce the respect of the travel policy and ensure optimisation of expenditure and better security management for travellers," the Forecast 2018 says.