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Brexit forces up prices for UK corporate travel buyers

Prices have increased for 16 per cent of UK corporate travel buyers following the Brexit vote

Pictured: David Chapple, event director, at last year's Business Travel Show

UK business travel buyers are facing higher prices thanks to Brexit, according to a poll by the Business Travel Show.

Prices have increased in the seven months following the EU referendum according to 16 per cent of corporate travel buyers in the UK - compared to just 6 per cent of planners across continental Europe. The news comes less than a week after prime minister Theresa May set out her stall for a hard Brexit.

For the poll, 178 travel buyers - 61 per cent of whom work in the UK – were asked: “What impact will Brexit have on client confidence and buying behaviours?” 11 per cent of buyers on mainland Europe are playing the waiting game and holding off from investing in travel. This compares to just 4 per cent in the UK. 80 per cent of British buyers believe it’s a case of “business as usual”, slightly fewer than the 83 per cent in the rest of Europe. 

The Business Travel Show, which takes place on 22-23 February at Olympia London, is hosting a panel session on Brexit to help buyers understand what it could mean for their travel programme.

David Chapple, event director of the Business Travel Show, said: “The UK’s decision to leave the EU has created many questions about the future, and corporate travel is no exception. Our panel of thought leaders will spell out potential changes to prepare for, both for travel managers based in the UK and those whose companies visit on business.”

Panelists include:

• Rohitesh Dhawan, director – Brexit Global Centre of Excellence, KPMG
• Mark Cuschieri, chairman, Institute of Travel Management
• Mark Tanzer, chief executive, ABTA

Asked how Brexit will affect their job, the following business travel professionals commented:

Rosy Burnie, travel advisor and former global HQ office manager at Luvata, said: “Currently, it's business as usual. The world is bigger than Brexit. However, the uncertainty means that future investment projects go on hold.”

Shaun Hinds, MD EMEA & APAC at Bridge Street Apartments, said: “The extended stay sector was built on, among other things, projects as a mainstay of its customer base. Brexit is the biggest project we are likely to see in a generation and so can only be an opportunity – some reports cite up to 30,000 jobs being required to deliver Brexit. The chief Brexit officers and their teams will need somewhere to stay.”     

Kevin Iwamoto of Global Consulting, said: “For those of us in the consulting world, this will add more business engagements as corporations and programme owners look for ways to gauge potential impacts on their collective programs and policies.”

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