Study: European Business Travel on the Rise

Business travel spend in Western Europe sees largest annual growth since global recession as it is set to grow 3.4% in 2014.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the voice of the global business travel industry, announced the results of its latest GBTA BTI™ Outlook – Western Europe report, a semi-annual analysis of the five most critical business travel markets in Europe: Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain. These five markets together form the lion’s share of business travel in the region, nearly 70%, and act as a good barometer of the health of the entire European business travel market.

Key highlights of the report:

  • Business travel spending among the five markets is expected to hit $183 billion USD, (€144.7 billion) 3.3% growth over 2013. This projected gain would be the largest in Western Europe since the Great Recession.
  • Germany remains the largest business travel market in Europe reaching $50.5 billion USD in 2012. This is expected to increase 5% in 2013 to $53 billion USD.
  • The UK has the second highest level of spending on business travel in Western Europe – $40.6 billion USD in 2012 – expected to advance 1.6% in 2013 to $41.3 billion USD.
  • Spain, Italy and France will all see their business travel markets contract in 2013 by -6.7%, -3.9% and -2.3% respectively.
  • In 2013, domestic business travel will fare better than international outbound in all five markets except for the UK.

“After six consecutive quarters of decline, Europe has finally turned the corner. Challenges remain but we cannot ignore the economic progress that has been made and the impact that this will have on both domestic and international travel across Western Europe. Next year we can expect to see the largest annual growth in business travel spending in more than 6 years”, Catherine McGavock, Regional Director for Europe for GBTA.

“The upsurge in business travel spending, as noted by the BTI™, reinforces the fact that the Western Europe economy is stabilizing,” said Tad Fordyce, head of global commercial solutions at Visa Inc. “Although the recession took a toll on these markets, we are very optimistic this upward movement will continue the momentum into 2014.”

North South Divide Still Very Evident

European economic growth remains a two-speed story with the Northern markets showing positive growth that has not yet been enough to compensate for the still-negative performance of the Southern tier.

Last year proved to be a challenging one for the Western European economy and for business travel. Business travel policies were tightened and budgets were reduced or frozen. Total travel spend across all five key country markets combined to register a decline of 2.2% in 2012, to $177.4 billion USD. However, while Germany and the UK eked out small positive growth rates for the year, negative performance in Italy, Spain and France overwhelmed the slight growth in the North. The Southern countries are expected to continue to decline for the remainder of the year and into early 2014, but with Germany and the UK gathering momentum, the region will see a return to growth in 2014. The GBTA Foundation expects travel spending to be essentially flat in 2013 then rise by 3.4% the following year.

Eurozone Corporate Profits

Business travel is very closely tied to corporate profit performance, another indicator that is beginning to turn around in Europe.Corporate profits in Northern tier countries are beginning to show positive growth over year-ago levels.Theexpectation for the rest of 2013 and 2014 is for operating surpluses to stabilize and begin to improve, driven finally by some top-line revenue growth to combine with cost-cutting programs that have been in force since 2011. All of this bodes well for both domestic and international overseas business travel.

Country-Level Business Travel Outlooks

Germany

  • GBTA forecasts growth in total business travel spending to hit 5% in 2013. 2014 will be another strong period for German business travel, which will grow 6.1% to $56.3 billion USD.
  • Spending on domestic business travel is expected to end the year up 5.7% over 2012. Even more growth is in store in 2014 as domestic business travel spending is projected to surge 7.7% to $46.4 billion USD.
  • GBTA expects international outbound travel to increase 2% in 2013, but fall again slightly in 2014.

United Kingdom

  • GBTA expects total business travel spending to hit $41.3 billion USD in 2013, up 1.6% from 2012. Spending will continue to pick up pace in 2014, advancing 2.9%.
  • Domestic spending is projected to grow 0.8% and 4.0% in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
  • International outbound business travel is likely to outperform domestic spending in 2013 but that trend will reverse in 2014, mostly due to exchange rate effects. Total international outbound business travel spend is projected to grow 3.0% and 0.8% in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

France

  • GBTA forecasts total business travel spending to fall by -2.3% in 2013 to $34.9 billion USD. Business travel spending will see small gains in 2014, expanding by 2.7% to $35.8 billion USD.
  • Domestic business travel spending continues to stagnate in 2013 with annual growth of 0.3%. 2014 is expected to be a much better year for domestic business travel in France where spending is projected to grow to 4.6%.
  • International outbound spending will fare significantly worse with expected declines of -6.7%. Losses are expected to slow in 2014 with total international outbound spending falling -0.9%.

Spain

  • Spanish business travel spending is set to decrease in 2013 Q2 – its ninth straight quarter of decline, falling -6.7%. Quarterly growth will resume by the last quarter of the year and continue through 2014 with total business travel spending expected to grow by 1.6% in 2014 to $17 billion USD.
  • Both domestic and international outbound business travel will see significant declines in 2013, falling -5.8% and -9.9%, respectively. Domestic business travel will lead growth in 2014, rising 2.1% as international outbound travel falls another -0.6%.

Italy

  • GBTA expects a business travel spending loss in Italy amounting to -3.9% in 2013 with total spending gains for 2014 projected at 1.2%.
  • Spending on domestic business travel in Italy will fall -3.6% in 2013 before expanding 1.4% in 2014.
  • Spending on international outbound business travel will fall -7.2% in 2013 and another -0.3% in 2014.

Find the latest Tourism & Travel studies in TrendSpotting 2013

Study Snapshot: Business Travel Insights

According to the latest traveller insights report commissioned by Amadeus, 47% of travellers lack full comprehension of corporate travel policy and 34% of travellers went ‘off-plan’ in 2012. It shows that business travel goes online while mobile still has a long way to go, opening up opportunities for travel managers to build a more effective relationship with travellers.

The report, ‘Amadeus Business Travel Insights: the 21st Century Business Traveller’, charts the behaviour and aspirations of business travellers across the UK and Ireland, identifying opportunities for travel departments to introduce new services and technologies that will deliver additional value to travellers.

Business travel

Key findings include:

Technology changing the face of business travel

Tipping point reached in the ability to book online: the data displays new opportunities for self managed travel as two thirds (66%) of travellers are now able to book their business travel through an online booking tool. Only a third of travellers (33%) are able to book travel on a mobile or tablet device, providing a significant area of opportunity for travel managers, TMCs and technology companies to put their knowledge and company policies in the hands of the traveller.

Itinerary change management provides opportunity to add value

Half (51%) of the survey respondents had to make changes to their travel plans in 2012 with 37% having to amend their flights whilst on the road. These statistics indicate a clear opportunity for the travel department to add value as only 30% of travellers said the department had been ‘very effective’ at making the necessary amendments to their bookings.

Clear gap to bridge between corporate governance and user awareness of policy

One third (34%) of travellers surveyed said that they had gone “off plan” during their 2012 business travel. However, this increased to half (51%) for those travellers who made 11 or more trips in 2012, nearly a fifth (18%) of them went “off plan” at least five times during the year.

Convenience is the top priority for business travellers

The report found that convenience is prioritised by business travellers above cost and comfort, with 62% of respondents stating this was the most important factor when travelling for business. Just over a fifth (22%) stated cost as their top priority, with only 15% putting comfort first. 32% of the business travellers who took part in our survey would also like to have the opportunity to extend their business trip to include self-funded leisure travel and 14% would like to be provided with information into local sights.

Ambivalence to the corporate travel department

However, the report delivers some more mixed reading for travel managers. Whilst half of the travellers surveyed said that they fully understand their company’s corporate travel policy (51%), this leaves nearly half who have a more limited or no understanding. Respondents demonstrated an inability to pinpoint the value added by the corporate travel department: nearly half (47%) said that the department neither helped nor hindered the business, 15% said that the corporate travel department hindered their ability to do business.

As Diane Bouzebiba, Managing Director of Amadeus, UK and Ireland, comments: “Putting the [corporate travel departments’] expertise in the hands of corporate travellers and exploring mobile technology to facilitate the planning, booking and amendment of travel arrangements, will go a long way to help keep travellers on plan, safe and better connected in 2013 and beyond.”

The report is based on a survey of over 400 UK and Ireland adults who work for large companies and regularly travel for business and was conducted in December 2012, by ICM Research on behalf of Amadeus UK.

Source: www.amadeus.com

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U.S. Outbound Travel Forecast & Business Travel Prospects-Market Analysis

Soon after it was officially announced that U.S. international outbound travel has increased-with U.S. travel to overseas markets reaching 20.0 million until August, up 7 % this year- a new research from GBTA Foundation, analyzing the business travel impact of expiring tax cuts and automatic spending reductions – commonly referred to as the “fiscal cliff” –warns that if the U.S. economy falls over the “fiscal cliff,” it would have an immediate and severe impact on U.S. business travel.

The U.S. Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI) recently announced that U.S. international outbound travel was up 4% in August 2012, and up 3% for the year, with 42.2 million American travelers departing during the first eight months of 2012. U.S. travel to overseas markets reached 20.0 million, up 7 percent this year. 

http://www.tinet.ita.doc.gov

More specifically from the 47% of all U.S. outbound international travel, Europe received the largest share at 19%.

At the same time, a new research from the Global Business Travel Association Foundation (GBTA) addresses a bid dilemma, showing that if the U.S. economy falls over the “fiscal cliff”, it would have an immediate and severe impact on U.S. business travel and slash some $20 billion in travel. However, failure to address deficit spending also will have negative long-term effects.

The report models the potential business travel impact of two scenarios – one in which the fiscal cliff takes effect, and one where no changes are made to current tax and spending provisions.

  • Fiscal Cliff Scenario: If the fiscal cliff occurs, the U.S. economy would enter a recession. This would lead to a total loss of $20 billion in spending on U.S. business travel over the next nine quarters – a 2.5% decline – and a reduction of 32 million business trips.

However, the elimination of tax cuts and reductions in federal spending would lead to reduced deficits and lower interest rates over the long run, resulting in business travel spending and an overall economy that grows more quickly after absorbing the shock of the fiscal cliff.

  • No Fiscal Restraint Scenario: If all provisions of the fiscal cliff are eliminated or delayed indefinitely, business travel would experience more robust trip volume and spending as a result of stimulus from lower tax rates and continued government spending. In the near term, this scenario would lead to a cumulative loss of only 300,000 business trips and a gain of $5.5 billion in total business travel spending over the next nine quarters.

However, by 2014, much of the spending growth would be attributed to higher inflation. Larger budget deficits and growing debt will begin to take a toll, and business travel spending growth would continue to slow beyond the forecast horizon.

It is worth mentioning that according to a previous report by GBTA, American business travelers were expected to take 437.9 million trips this year, down 1.2% from an estimate made in April by the travel and meetings trade group. The outlook for next year was even worse, with the trade group lowering its forecast to 435 million trips, down 1.9% from April’s estimate. At the same time – due to higher prices-  the trade group expected overall travel spending to rise 2.2%  this year to $256.5 billion, and then increase another 4.7% next year to $268.5 billion.

More info: www.gbta.org, OTTI.

Corporate Travel Landscape – Trends & Challenges

An evaluation of the current business travel landscape and supply environment for air, hotel and rail inventory through the 2012 Global Corporate Travel Benchmarking Study and Travel Manager Research by Egencia, released this month.

Focusing on top domestic and international business destinations in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific, Egencia analyses industry trends, supplier data and capacity implications in Q1 2012. Additionally, it surveyed over 300 travel buyers globally identifying current trends and challenges.

Travel managers surveyed universally identified cost control/reducing expenses (77 percent) as the greatest challenge facing their travel programs, followed by traveler compliance/policy enforcement (40 percent), Egencia reports.

Average daily rates (ADRs) for hotel stays have also increased in the majority of business destinations, continuing a reversal of previous trends.

Improved occupancy and a decreasing amount of new hotel supply coming into the market has led to slightly higher room prices (approximately 6 percent in North America, 3.3 percent in Europe, and 5.7 percent in the Asia-Pacific region).

Average ticket prices (ATPs) for air travel have, on average, increased in North AmericaAsia Pacific and Europe in the last year, attributed to rising jet fuel prices being passed onto travelers and tightly managed capacity discipline by airlines.

Key results of the new benchmarking study:

North America: As a result of increased cost pressures in Q1 2012, ATPs have increased for nearly all routes departing from North America by approximately six percent. These increases can be largely attributed to higher fuel prices, tighter management of capacity, and continued airline consolidation.

Europe: ATPs for European destinations experienced an increase of nearly six percent YoY. Increased ATPs can be attributed to rising fuel prices and tightly managed capacity by airlines. Decreased ATPs can be attributed to overall financial vulnerability of the Eurozone, increased competition from low cost carriers, and increased competition with high speed rail.

APAC: Asia-Pacific represents a mixed air pricing landscape, varying on a market-by-market basis. However, as a whole APAC is averaging an increase in overall ATPs. Prices for Intra-APAC destinations have increased by an average of three percent YoY. Increased ATPs can be attributed to increased fuel costs and increased demand into China. Decreased ATPs can be attributed to increased competition in the local markets and increased capacity on a majority of routes, as more and larger aircrafts enter the Asia Pacific region.

Travel Management Trends: According to respondents of Egencia’s global survey of over 300 travel buyers, 43 percent of buyers expect their travel volumes (number of trips) to increase during the remainder of 2012 (compared with 54 percent in 2011) with 46 percent expecting their overall travel spend to increase. Additionally, 62 percent of travel buyers said they will negotiate more in 2012 (compared to 38% in 2011).

Find the Full Study here.

Destination Marketing for Business & Pleasure

The MICE industry is reportedly experiencing a ‘moderate growth’ through out 2011 and into 2012 as the need for international corporate presence increases.

As companies are now ‘savvy’ at seeking out deals, to remain competitive, suppliers will need to understand their business customer and be able to provide added value to their accommodation, travel and facility offerings.

Key trends include the identified need for better collaboration between planners and suppliers, good quality venues and facilities, and greater content for MICE. Being able to meet corporate social responsibility requests will give providers a competitive edge, sustainability will remain a key objective for companies, and growing usage of technology is already visible within the industry.

A number of reports highlight the potential increase in the industry ‘dabbling’ with virtual channels and social media. Technology and alternative virtual channels are predicted to become more mainstream as interaction, innovation and ‘connectivity’ become more important, perhaps changing the way the industry works and communicates. The online environment is no longer seen as a threat to the live event circuit, but as a tool to deliver a greater impact and involve even more professionals.

So, how have destinations recently used this environment to attract business tourism to their area?

Tourism Ireland’s Twitter Tour for MICE

Tourism Ireland’s British office recently announced a new business tourism promotion offering senior executives a chance to win a tour of Ireland by Twitter.

In collaboration with the International Special Events Society (ISES) and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Tourism Ireland launched a competition aimed at senior executives involved in the meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) sector. The prize on offer is a ‘t’weetour’ a tour of Ireland that can be followed on Twitter.

Members of ISES and ICCA who are active in social media are being targeted to enter the competition. Three winners will be selected to travel to Ireland this month, courtesy of Tourism Ireland, and each will have their own itinerary. Winners are  invited to live tweet their experiences in Ireland, highlighting the country as a destination to their network of colleagues in the industry.

Source: www.siliconrepublic.comwww.tourismireland.com

Tourism New Zealand “Beyond Convention”

Tourism New Zealand has just introduced a new campaign to internationally market the business events sector. “Beyond convention” is the creative territory that will provide an umbrella theme for all Tourism New Zealand’s destination marketing material for the business events sector.


A sneak preview of the theme and marketing material was revealed at MEETINGS 2012 at SkyCity in Auckland.

Tourism New Zealand’s General Manager Marketing Communications Justin Watson said it is the first time a creative theme has been used by the organisation for this sector. “…Beyond convention can be applied across the sector – for meetings and conferences, convention relates to the event. In the incentives space, it is more about promoting that there is nothing conventional about an incentive trip to New Zealand.”

The theme will be rolled out promoting New Zealand across a range of concepts such as “beyond the meet and greet”; “beyond the morning break” and “beyond the cityscape”.

Source: www.tourismnewzealand.com

Visit York 4 Meetings

Visit York, the city’s official tourism agency, hasjust launched a new business tourism brand: Visit York 4 Meetings.

The changes will also see the first ever ‘Visit York in London’ meet the buyer event, aimed at attracting conference buyers from London and the South, as well as a number of international business tourism marketing opportunities in partnership with Visit England.

Other projects the Visit York 4 Meetings team are working on include the Conference Ambassador Programme with 30 Ambassadors on board, a dedicated sales day working with York venue sales staff to drive business conference bookings to the city and a programme of exhibitions and workshops promoting York’s conference venues.

Source: www.visityork.org

Know Your Markets! Summer 2012 – What Lies Ahead?

According to the Travelhorizons™ quarterly report by MMGY Global and the US Travel Association, the outlook for summer travel continues to brighten for the second consecutive year,  with more than three in five US adults (64 %), or an estimated 154 million Americans, planning on taking at least one trip for leisure purposes during the next 6 months. The percentage of Americans planning to travel between May and October is up from 61 (%) last April and 56 (%) in April 2010.

The results are based on a survey of 2,200 US adults taken in April 2012. “The April travelhorizons results come as welcome news for destinations and travel companies ahead of the summer and fall travel seasons,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO of the US Travel Association.

Business travel is expected to improve slightly in the next six months, compared to the same timeframe as last year, with 17% of US adults planning at least one business trip between May and October, a typically slow period for such travel. An encouraging sign that general business activity in the US is on the mend is that business travelers took an average of 6.3 trips in the past 12 months, the highest average number in the past 5 years.

The overall Traveler Sentiment Index™ (TSI), which tracks Americans’ evolving attitudes toward travel, reached 93.5 in April, nearly 10 points higher than April 2011 (March 2007=100). It was also significant that April’s TSI remained essentially unchanged from the level of 93.6 in February, bucking the concern and speculation that higher gasoline prices earlier in 2012 would depress travel sentiment, as it did in 2011.

An other survey, Expedia’s 2012 Flip Flop Report, examines summer vacation behavior and preferences across 5 continents.

Among other findings, Expedia’s Flip Flop Report revealed that the beach is by far the favorite destination for the majority of the world’s travelers. The average beach holiday is just about one week in length, at 7.7 days. Combined with results from Expedia’s Vacation Deprivation® study,  in the US, Americans spend a full 40% of their allotted vacation days at the beach. In fact, when Americans were asked to choose between spending time at the beach and spending time with family, the beach won handily.

Main Findings:

Despite the carefree nature of a sun-drenched week at the beach, beachgoers worldwide remain cost-conscious. In the US, the most important factor for 78% of beachgoers is the total trip price. The beach itself matters too – total vacation price and beach quality are the #1 and #2 criteria for travelers in 14 of the 21 countries surveyed – but the cost of the visit is the top consideration.

The Popularity of the Beach is Unsurpassed

More than half (52%) of respondents plan to holiday at the beach in the next 12 months, compared to 45% who said they took a beach vacation the year prior. And while the average stay for a beach vacation is 7.7 days, this is less true of Koreans, Japanese and Singaporeans, who seem more likely to prefer beach weekends to extended stays.

For Most Beachgoers, the Most Popular Activity is No Activity At All

Relaxing and sunbathing were among the top two activities for beachgoers across all five continents. The Irish, at 75%, were the most likely to relax, while Mexicans (79%) seem to be happiest with lying in the sun. Brazilians (40%) were likeliest to exercise on the beach; when doing so, they may well stumble over the Japanese, who were 14 times likelier to relax (28%) than exercise (2%).

Germans are Likeliest to Sunbathe Nude

Germans displayed the most permissive attitudes towards nude sunbathing. A full 15% of German respondents indicated that they sunbathed naked. Indians and Spaniards (8%) were the second-likeliest to shed their clothing, while the French (5% clothing-free) were more aligned with Americans (2%), the British (2%) and the Japanese (1%). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Germans seem to be the most popular beachgoers: when asked if they’d spent beach days with strangers, the Germans (23%) and Brazilians (19%) were likeliest to say they had.

The Flip Flop Survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Expedia.com from February 14 – March 21, 2012 among 8,599 adults, 18 and older, in the following countries: the United States (501), Canada (1,249), Mexico (400), Argentina (312), Brazil (308), United Kingdom (402), Germany (423), France (414), Italy (437), Spain (418), Norway (300), Sweden (300), Denmark (300), Ireland (300), Netherlands (300), Japan (429), India (438), South Korea (346), Singapore (321), Australia (400), and New Zealand (301).

Full Surveys Details: Expedia FLip Flop ReportTravelhorizons™ quarterly report

Trending: Business Travel Set to Rise in 2012

Corporate travel will likely fuel the travel, hospitality and leisure industry in 2012 as many Millennials and Generation X professionals expect to take to the road more often, according to a new Deloitte survey.

Specifically, 85 % of business travelers surveyed expect to take more or the same number of trips next year with 27 % of 18-44 year olds expecting to take more trips in 2012, while only 16 % of business travelers 45 years old and above are planning to take more trips next year.

Moreover, reflecting on 2011 travel activity, the majority of survey respondents (81 %) anticipate taking more or the same number of business trips than they did in 2010. Of the 19 percent of business travelers who expect less travel in 2011, more than six of 10 (64 %) cite the recession as the primary reason, and 14 % say a job change.

Generation gap may define hotel preferences

The majority of business travelers surveyed feel experiences at hotels operating under the same brand name differ depending on location, with six in 10 (60 %) noting that facilities and service quality vary widely. However, when looking at perceptions around hotel consistency among different age groups, 49 percent of respondents aged 30 and older believe hotel brands are inconsistent whereas only 39 percent of those ages 18-29 indicate the same. When considering loyalty, — nearly half (46 %) of the 18-29 year olds say they prefer to stay at their favorite hotel brand even if it is not conveniently located, whereas 37 percent of those 30 and older do the same.

“While it’s important for hotels to focus on the burgeoning number of young business travelers, finding a middle ground to retain brand loyalty among Generation X and Y, and boosting brand loyalty among the potentially more discerning baby boomers, will likely be a challenge for hotels in 2012,”says Adam Weissenberg, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP.

Two-thirds of respondents (67 %) say they often work in their hotel room, with younger business travelers enjoying working in more social spaces, such as executive/business lounges and the lobby or common area. Nearly two-fifths (36 %) of the 18-44 year olds surveyed say they often work in the lobby or common area, while only 17 percent of those 45 and older do the same. When it comes to interacting with hotel staff for check-in, almost two-fifths (36 %) of the 18-44 respondents favor automated kiosks rather than checking in with a hotel employee at the front desk, whereas only 19 percent of the 45 and older survey participants say they prefer automated kiosks.

Travelers prioritize amenities and efficiencies

Amenities continue to play a key role in the overall hotel experience, with six in 10 respondents (61 %) expecting more from hotels with regards to amenities and services now that hotel prices have increased. As a whole, 77 percent of business travelers surveyed indicated that complimentary Internet is important to them, and 63 percent are satisfied with the availability of free Wi-Fi in hotels.

The Deloitte survey also found that concerns around air travel are important, with survey respondents listing flight delays (37 %) and security-related delays (30 %) at airports as the leading grievances about business travel today. Additionally, respondents indicate that issues with air travel are more of a concern than hotel challenges, such as inattentive staff and lack of amenities at hotels.

Sourcewww.deloitte.com

Check out other Related Surveys:

Key Trends For The Meetings & Incentives Market

Business Events Offer More to Destinations than Tourism Dollars Alone

Survey Shows Increased Demand for Destination Specific Offers and Info by Business Travelers

Market Snapshot: Russia MICE Industry

Meetings & Incentive business from Russia continues to grow

According to Dmitry Smirnov of Events Magazine Russia, the meetings industry in Russia has experienced substantial growth in the last year with the leading 12 specialists recording International MICE business in excess of €.70 million and this figure represents only 40% of the total as domestic events, business travel and official delegations to conferences are not included!

Turkey remains the leader in Russia whilst Egypt has lost market share with clients now looking for alternative destinations. Recent conferences have been held in many high end destinations including USA with 2 groups in excess of 200 participants, Italy with 3 groups that exceeded 300, Spain with almost monthly events with 50-100, Brazil 2 groups of 200+, Cuba, Emirates, China and Thailand also reporting large movements. One of the greatest challenges for Russian specialists is to find suppliers and destinations able to cater for corporate meetings fro 400-800 delegates. Their main requirements being simple visas, easily accessible, warm climate and good business/resort infrastructure.

Smirnov also commented that “The average event planning period in Russia is 4-6 months from the first RFP and bidding to materialisation with most groups taking place in Q3-4, the most effective time for promotion is in March. Therefore we highly recommend the Moscow International MICE Forum on March 19th as the ideal time and place to meet with all the leading Russian MICE specialists”.

Unlike other countries around the world, the prognosis for the Russian economy is strong, with Morgan Stanley predicting GDP growth of 4.6%. Inflation is down, employment is up, industrial production is increasing as are retail sales. With these encouraging forecasts, an increasing number of Russian companies are looking to reward their employees and clients with Incentive travel. In addition as Russian products and services become more competitive, there is a growing demand for participation at conferences and exhibitions around the world. This combination presents an excellent opportunity for International MICE suppliers to satisfy this increased demand.

Russia’s premier Meetings and Incentive event, The Moscow International MICE Forum takes place on Monday 19th March offering International suppliers a professional platform to meet with leading Russian MICE specialists and Corporate Buyers. Concurrent with other tourism events held in Moscow at this time, the Moscow International MICE Forum enables participants to maximise their sales visit.

Full details can be viewed at www.MiceForum.ru

Press Contact: Kim Waddoup, CEO aigroup/ Email: kim@aigroup.ru

Survey Shows Increased Demand for Destination Specific Offers and Info by Business Travelers

Sabre Travel Network has revealed some of the results of its biannual mobile survey of business travelers.

According to Sabre, the results confirm that the explosion of mobile travel services over the past several years has single-handedly “consumerized” business travel. Tomorrow’s travelers will expect even more convenience and functionality from their mobile devices, and corporations and travel management companies must meet those needs or risk being left behind.

“Our survey shows that business travel today is personal,” said Chris Kroeger, senior vice president of Sabre Travel Network. “Travelers want the same functionality and convenience from their business travel tools that they have in their daily lives. People use travel services on their smartphones everyday and for every trip – before, during and after they travel. The corporate travel industry needs to keep pace with the services and apps that travelers can access in their personal life and incorporate those into the world of managed business travel.”

According to the Sabre’s survey, 63 percent of business travelers want to receive destination specific offers from local businesses – an 85 percent increase from 2009 – and 47 percent of business travelers use their smartphone daily to view or receive advertisements, a 95 percent increase from 2009. “One of the biggest trends we see in the survey data is travelers’ desire for local business information and offerings based on their location via their smartphone or tablet,” said Kroeger. “Travelers will look for this information from suppliers, travel management companies and technology resources such as online booking tools like GetThere. Smart and savvy travel management companies will use technology as a way to fill this need and improve customer support and solidify customer loyalty. ”

Sabre’s survey also found that business travelers increasingly want to access navigational tools and maps on their mobile devices. Seventy-two percent of business travelers are interested in having the ability to view hotels on a map, an increase of 26 percent from 2009. Forty-three percent of business travelers reported daily use of their smartphone to access navigation services. And 71 percent want to receive driving directions to a specific location via their smartphone. “Consumers already rely on their mobile devices to help them navigate their way through cities around the world,” Kroeger said. “In the future, they’ll look for mobile services that are not only location-based but contextually-aware such as airport navigational tools with the ability to find in-airport businesses but also have deals and offers pushed to their smartphone.”

Sabre’s survey showed that nearly three-quarters of business travelers are interested in shopping and booking air options. More than two-thirds want to shop for and make hotel reservations via mobile devices and 66 percent of respondents reported interest in the ability to add a hotel reservation to an existing itinerary. But the highest growth was seen in the ground category. Sixty-two percent of respondents are interested in booking rental cars via their smartphone, a 32 percent increase from 2009, and 60 percent of respondents want to shop for car rentals using their smartphone, a 33 percent increase.

 “Today’s business travelers expect transactional capabilities from their mobile devices including buying air extras and in-flight amenities,” Kroeger said. “Tomorrow’s business travelers will move from physical passports, wallets and credit cards and will expect their mobile device to fill those needs as continued advancements in mobile payment, commerce and banking make it easier to electronically transact via mobile devices.

Sourceswww.travelpulse.comwww.sabre-holdings.com