Last updated: 04:48 PM ET, Mon February 29 2016

Road Warriors' Bags are Packed: Corporate Travel Remains Strong Despite Concerns

Business Travel | Gabe Zaldivar | February 29, 2016

Road Warriors' Bags are Packed: Corporate Travel Remains Strong Despite Concerns

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Keep those bags packed, because travel will continue to boom for the foreseeable future.

ATPI Group, a global travel management and events business, along with the Institute of Travel and Meetings (ITM), released a study highlighting a rather favorable outlook on business travel for 2016 and beyond.

ITM—a “leading professional body for buyers, managers and suppliers of business travel and meetings in the UK and Ireland,” according to its website — took a snapshot view of its data and found that businesses were quite content to send its employees into the great beyond in the name of commerce.

In fact, the prospect of having workers traverse far from the office is a popular one for 2016, according to this press release

READ MORE: How Millennials Are Changing Business Travel

Here is what the study found: “For the next 12 months, 55 percent of ITM travel buyers surveyed predict that their people will travel more, and a significant 72 percent feel very or quite confident about their business outlook and growth opportunities for 2016.”

That’s well and good, but one year doesn’t exactly make a trend. Thankfully, the study asked respondents to sound off on where they see the industry in five years.

Allaying any fears that corporate travel in the region would slow to a trickle, the press release confirms that more than half of businesses (58 percent) see an uptick in travel over that duration. The naysayers were kept to a paltry seven percent.

The news comes despite airfare hikes delivered by various carriers, as reported by TravelPulse’s Josh Lew.

Of course, present day reality is counter to how we thought things might go at the end of 2015, when Expedia and ARC’s own report predicted a continued plummet of airfare prices.

Essentially, this illustrates a volatile market that will only further fuel corporate traveler frustrations.

Yet only optimism seems to be flowing freely from prediction’s tap. Adam Knights, managing director of ATPI Group said, “The economic recovery of 2015 has increased confidence amongst businesses, despite a background of uncertainty in some sectors and regions of the world.”

The global economy continues to suffer from volatility, yet there is no reason to think it will hinder this part of the industry. Knights continues, “We are seeing business travel professionals feeling more optimistic about the longer term future than in recent years, and are planning to be traveling more, to a wider choice of destinations.”

What is concerning, to the majority of respondents (65 percent) is the safety of its hardworking employees who fly off to all parts of the globe amid turbulent and quite terrifying times.

This sentiment played out quite vividly during the harrowing lockdown instituted in Brussels after last year’s Paris terrorist attacks.

ForwardKeys illustrated that while there was a drastic downturn of travel to the area, business travel on the whole in later months was predicted to be quite healthy.

Corporate travel, it seems, goes on.

READ MORE: Business Travel Remains Strong Despite Zika Outbreak

And that’s the major takeaway from this telling study. Terror and market fluctuations lead the list of worries for travelers from all parts of the industry.

Still, you can count on one thing in the marketplace, and that’s the corporate traveler.


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