More than a quarter of business travel budgets will be increased this year according to a new survey ahead of this year’s Business Travel & Meetings Show.
The survey of more than 1,400 business travel managers also revealed that 35% of buyers plan to book more trips.
It also revealed that 46 per cent of budgets will remain stable, and just 27% of managers will have less money to spend.
David Chapple, BTMS event director, said: “The business travel industry has been through a very bumpy ride over the last 18 months, so these survey results are a much needed glimmer of optimism as we enter a new decade: a sign that things are back on track and we are heading in the right direction.
“But what the survey also makes clear is that, while budgets and travel plans are stabilising and in some instances growing, managers are still facing huge pressure from the boardroom to get more for their money.”
The survey also revealed that four in ten buyers will manage the same number of trips and only one quarter will make fewer bookings.
Healthier budgets appear to have encouraged a healthier outlook generally, with three quarters of the industry believing the UK will be out of recession by the end of the year and only 12 per cent indicating it will drag on beyond 2011.
But despite having more money in the coffers this year, buyers are being very careful spending it.
Eighty one per cent admit they are being forced to adopt even stricter travel policies for 2010.
Forty-four per cent will be downgrading air travel, 22 per cent accommodation and 46 per cent plan to increase their use of video conferencing.
Despite the new-found optimism, this year’s BTMS has for the first time been cut to just two days from three.
It also has for the first time the word “meetings” in the title – reflecting the new-found importance of this meetings and events sector.
The show takes place on February 9 and 10 and features 200 business travel suppliers and an educational programme over the two days.