The National Business Travel Association (NBTA) has released the results of its 2004 mid-year survey, confirming recent indicators of recovery in the travel industry and underscoring the value corporate travel managers bring to their companies.
“More than 60 percent of travel managers surveyed said that their companies are spending more on travel in 2004 than in 2003, indicating a level of recovery in the travel industry,” said NBTA President and CEO Carol A. Devine, CCTE. “More than three-quarters of those reporting higher travel spend indicated increases of 10 percent or less, showing that corporate travel managers are mitigating price increases and containing costs for their companies.”
Travel manager respondents expect prices in each segment of the industry to rise slightly for the remainder of 2004. Nearly 70 percent of respondents foresee increases in air travel prices. Nearly three quarters said that hotel rates will increase. Almost 60 percent expect car rental prices to rise. More than 65 percent said meetings & conventions costs will grow.
At the same time, the volume of corporate travel purchased is growing. More than 70 percent of corporate travel managers expect their companies to use a higher number of hotel room nights in 2004 than last year. Nearly one in five indicated they are responding to changes in the hotel industry by increasing the number of meetings.
“Travel is one of the top three controllable costs corporations incur, and travel managers are proving their importance by managing expenditures as travel costs and travel volume increase,” said Devine. “As the industry continues to recover, demand and pricing will continue to grow, and having a professionally managed travel program will become even more important.”