Over the coming six months the volume of business travel in Germany will remain high or may even increase. This is the view of 70 per cent of the business travel managers who in October 2011 were questioned by Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement e.V. (VDR) on the prospects for the economy. At the same time 51 per cent noted that orders were in decline, or feared another economic downturn. As a result the focus continues to be on monitoring costs.
This is precisely the scenario the programme of the ITB Business Travel Days 2012 (7 to 11 March) will address. Thus on 8 March 2012 a panel discussion will examine how travel managers can exploit travel guidelines to the full in order to increase savings. At two VDR Academy workshops the subject will be negotiating fares with airlines and deriving maximum benefits from purchasing hotel services. According to the VDR 2011 business travel survey these two elements are easily the two biggest cost factors that concern business travel.
The practice of taxing business travel also constitutes a major burden and involves considerable bureaucracy. One of the lectures will detail the work of a project group of the Federal MinIstry of Finances which together with businesses is working on streamlining processes and affording companies greater security in legal dealings with tax authorities. One issue is how to define a “regular place of work“ and how to simplify the procedure for handling extra catering expenses.
Financial controllers also maintain a critical eye on conferences and events of all kinds. The Guide to a Successful Event, due to be presented by Vereinigung Deutscher Veranstaltungsorganisatoren e.V. at the MICE Day on 7 March 2012, highlights what is possible and what can be achieved. Examples of best practices and tax law are just some of the topics. The high point will be the launch of the event industry’s congress in the capital, due to take place in the summer of 2012.
The Business Travel Strategy Day on 8 and 9 March 2012 identifies trends and helps travel management senior executives to develop successful careers. More and more their focus is on ensuring a rapid and efficient response to economic situations and for their companies to incorporate new technical methods and innovative process to achieve the desired aim.
A trade visitor pass to ITB Berlin grants admission to all the lectures at the Business Travel Forum. The ITB Business Travel Lounge by HSMA in Hall 8.1 and the new ITB Business Travel Café by VDR in Hall 7.1 each offer visitors excellent opportunities for networking in a relaxed atmosphere.