Corporate Travel On The Up

The business tourism market will move back into growth in 2004, although the sector will be marked by a cost-cutting mindset for some years, according to a new report by the International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (IACVB). Although steady growth in both the US and Europe this year is underpinning a recovery, IACVB president and CEO Michael Gehrisch says recent trading conditions have changed companies’ focus. “The cost-savings mantra has become ingrained in many corporations’ mindsets. In general, there appears to be a permanent resetting of corporate travel business,” said Gehrisch. He supported predictions of an upturn with figures from the Travel Industry Association of America (TIA). After a three-year decline, US corporate business trips are expected to rise by 4.2% in 2004 and 3.5% in 2005. European business travel is also bouncing back by 2.7%, according to UK forecaster the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR). But the IACVB predicts that Europe will not see an increase in US business, although this will be offset by an upturn in internal travel and more inbound business from China, Russia and India. Senior lecturer in business travel and tourism at Westminster University Rob Davidson said that although business is picking up, there is evidence that the recent downturn had hardened attitudes to negotiation. “There is downwards pressure on rates. People are trading down,” he said. ICCA chief executive officer Martin Sirk added that convention centre expansion has brought a new level of competition to the market. “Second-tier destinations have come of age. China, Korea, Mexico and Eastern Europe are really hungry for business,” he said. ICCA members are said to be more optimistic with regards to 2004 than they have been for several years. “We believe that 2004 is going to be the recovery year and 2005 should represent a return to growth,” said Sirk. “There have been indicators of the health of the sector such as the early return to profitability of airlines.”

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Register now
Already registered?
Sign in

'Attention to detail is key'

'Attention to detail is key'

A-List 2020: Stephanie Aviss is an account manager at Top Banana

What does the future hold for incentive travel?

What does the future hold for incentive travel?

C&IT speaks to Black Tomato's David Heron to find out why he's feeling cautiously optimistic.

5 ways the industry can recover from the crisis

5 ways the industry can recover from the crisis

Catch up on our Crisis Briefing webinar, where experts from across the global MICE industry share their latest COVID-19 recovery plans.

LIVE UPDATES: Peru ends 106-day lockdown

LIVE UPDATES: Peru ends 106-day lockdown

Find out which countries are on partial or national lockdown, what travel restrictions are in place and what size gatherings are allowed.

Case study: Android's Partner Summit in Berlin

Case study: Android's Partner Summit in Berlin

Agency Wonder brought the tech giant's new branding to life in a former techno club in the German capital.

Events industry urges UK government to set reopening date

Events industry urges UK government to set reopening date

Senior industry figures argue that the lack of confirmed date risks losing major business to international competitors.

'It's great to be involved in the planning but onsite is where you really learn'

'It's great to be involved in the planning but onsite is where you really learn'

A-List 2020: Sarah Potts is an events project manager at BI Worldwide.

Dreaming down under: the Australia incentive

While global travel is on hold, it’s a time to dream. One Australian expert discusses her ultimate incentive itinerary for first-time visitors, including flying celebrated chefs around the country and dinner under the outback stars…

5 ways to make a powerful connection with your audience

5 ways to make a powerful connection with your audience

Engagement is all about creating a strong emotional response in a person, says Clive's Olly Adams.

Diversity Ally launches consultancy service for the events industry

Diversity Ally launches consultancy service for the events industry

The new consultancy and membership organisation will help MICE businesses become more diverse and inclusive.