The Guild of Travel Management Companies’ (GTMC) quarterly transaction survey monitors a range of services offered by travel management companies (TMC) and highlights trends in the business travel sector. Figures just in, relating to the first quarter of 2011, saw transactions increase by 10% against the same period last year, with air travel growing by 9%, rail also by 9% and car hire doing well with a 10% increase. Hotels meanwhile showed a very healthy 15% increase in transactions over the same quarter last year.
Commenting on the figures, Anne Godfrey, chief executive of the GTMC said: “We have now seen 15 months of growth with recovery in all the major modes of travel. Air travel continues to grow and indications are that travellers are flying more frequently and on longer journeys. Reflecting this switch from short to longer haul flights hotel transactions showed their strongest performance in over two years with the 15% growth.”
Not doing so well is the sale of ancillary services, these include insurance, passport and visa services, seat assignment, baggage check-in and other value added services offered by TMCs, often connected to the meetings and event industry and these declined by 6% when compared to the same period last year.
Anne Godfrey said: “The sale of ancillary services by TMCs showed robust growth at the beginning of the recession and the decline is puzzling. One theory is that pre-planned events taking place late 2008 and early 2009 went ahead and the current 6% decline in transactions against the same period last year is perhaps an indication that the recovery of the MICE industry is slower than business travel in general.”