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February 10, 2009

Business travel buyers’ budgets battered

A poll of 170 business travel buyers commissioned by the Business Travel Show has revealed that business travel budgets are being hammered in 2009 with 38% of respondents claiming they have less to spend this year.

Nearly two thirds of buyers polled (65%) revealed they are actively searching out cheaper air travel, while two fifths (41%) are downgrading accommodation for travellers and 18% are swapping taxis for the tube. What’s more, 65% also believe that we have another 12 to 24 months of recession ahead of us.

There is some silver lining these clouds, however, with one fifth (21%) of buyers confirming the economic downturn will not affect the number of trips they buy and 2% even claiming they will be booking more travel.

When asked if the pressure to be environmentally friendly would impact on their business travel plans, just under half (49%) said no, proving that in many instances there really is no substitute to face-to-face meetings.

“I’m not surprised that the credit crunch is affecting business travel buyers,” said Business Travel Show event director David Chapple. “It certainly explains why their focus this year, more than ever before, is on getting the best value possible out of their budget. They need to re-evaluate suppliers, push for more from existing ones and put contracts out to tender.

The Business Travel Show takes place from 10-12 February 2009 at Earls Court in London.

For more information, visit www.businesstravelshow.com.

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