September saw the first signs of an upturn in business travel, according to the head of the UK’s leading association of business travel agents.
It’s too early to say that the recession is over but we may be through the worst of it, Maurice Veronique, chairman of the Guild of Travel Management Companies said.
Delegates also heard more details about the launch of a Business Travellers’ Manifesto (BTM) which will be launched at the end of January.
Veronique, speaking at the GTMC’s first domestic conference, told delegates: “In September we had the first signs of a slight upturn in the business travel sector, but it’s too early to talk about the end of the recession.
“But let’s hope we are through the worst and things will get back on an even keel moving forward.”
Veronique, who steps down as chairman next year, also introduced the new chief executive of the Guild, Ann Godfrey, formerly of the Law Society and the CBI.
Current chief executive Philip Carlisle emphasised the need to up the GTMC’s influence on the political stage via the launch of the BTM.
The GTMC is working with the Federation of Small Businesses and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives to get responses from a wide range as possible of the business travel community as to what they would like to see in a manifesto.
Once those have been collated and distilled it will be launched after the Guild’s AGM in January.
One of the key demands will be to get measures in place to ensure business travellers can fast-track through security at airports, Carlisle said.
The GTMC also hopes to get the ear of the Opposition, before they are likely to come to power.
Next year’s GTMC Conference will take place in Hong Kong over the weekend of May 8-10 with flights with Virgin Atlantic and staying at a new hotel called the Harbour Grand.