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Business travel still suffering from economic crisis

Business travel still suffering from economic crisis

Many companies in Germany have yet to feel the effects of the current boom on the international stock markets, and what experts are predicting as a foreseeable end to the global financial crisis. Few companies anticipate the business travel sector to recover in the coming months. By contrast, video conference organisers have benefited significantly from the global economic and financial crisis.

According to the latest survey by Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement e.V. (VDR), 40 per cent of the companies polled are making increasing use of virtual conferences in order to reduce business trips. A further twelve per cent use this method of communicating for other reasons. “Video conferences are not the only popular trend. Efforts to save money have unleashed a real mobile communications boom“, said Dr. Martin Buck, Director of the Travel & Logistics Competence Center at Messe Berlin. ”ITB Berlin 2010 has responded with the launch of its Mobile Travel Services section. The global travel industry’s leading trade show with its specialist convention and informative stage shows provides a broad platform for the fast-growing market for modern methods of communication.”

With its new Mobile Travel Services section ITB Berlin also provides a significant impetus for alternative solutions in the business travel sector. Close to 40 per cent of the VDR members polled either do not believe the crisis is over or will not risk making any predictions. Only 17 per cent anticipate an upturn in the business travel sector this year. 23 per cent expect a recovery in the first half and 18 per cent in the second half of 2010.

Dirk Gerdom, President of Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement: “VDR members are unsure as to what the future holds. Small wonder, with so many surveys, expert forecasts and export figures appearing daily in the media, at times contradicting themselves. The only reliable indicator genuinely reflecting the economic situation is the number of trips, and for a year these have been in sharp decline. Our quarterly trend survey clearly shows that since October 2008 company travel has gradually decreased, with trips costing less and less. Thus the economic pressure is mounting.“

This flash survey was conducted in early October among the 548 companies belonging to the VDR. Their combined business travel turnover is more than ten billion euros a year.  126 companies took part.