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10/07/2013 Statistics and MICE researches

Business Travel: although the business travel shows faint signs of recovery, average spend has decreased

According to the results of the  Business Travel Survey (BTS), the periodic survey that monitors trends in the business travel industry conducted by Uvet American Express, the company of the Uvet Group specializing in the management of corporate mobility, during the first six months of 2013, business trips showed a 2% increase compared to the same period of 2012. However, a 4% decrease in average spend was also registered during the same period, in view of the fact that companies tend to look for the most cost-effective solutions to reduce travel spend, also fostered by the pricing strategy of offers.

The survey shows that the industry is driven, above all, by intercontinental destinations (+6%), while the European market continues to be somewhat sluggish, with air travel showing a 2% decrease and Italian air travel an 8% reduction. Air travel spend registered a general decrease due, above all, to the reduced cost of airfares, which dropped on an average by 6% on intercontinental flights, 5% on domestic flights and 3% on European flights.

In Italy, train travel increased thanks to an increase in the offer in the “high-speed” segment:  +10%. Furthermore, the presence of two competitors in the sector, fostered the reduction of the average price of train tickets: from 60 euros in the 1st six months of 2012 to 56 euros in the 1st six months of 2013.

As regards Italian destinations, the survey highlighted a decrease in business travel to Rome which decreased by 28.2% in the first six months of 2013 against the 30.7% in 2012 and to Turin which decreased by 3.8% in the first six months of 2012 to 3.5% this year.

Business travel to other destinations is more marked: Milan (from 30.7% to 31.1%), Naples (from 6.7% to 7.1%), Catania (from 5% to 5.3%), Bari (from 3.1% to 3.5%), Venice (from 2.9% to 3.5%), Genoa (from 2.8% to 3.2%) and Palermo (from 2.5 to 2.6%).

Based on the findings of the Business Travel Survey, Uvet Amex, in collaboration with The European House Ambrosetti, drafted the Uvet Travel Index whose aim is to identify a science and econometric-based relationship between business travel trends and Italian GDP.

 “More than once – commented Luca Patanè, president of the Uvet Group – we have ascertained that there is a correlation between the business travel trend and GDP. Our assumptions now have scientific back-up and, over the next few months, we are counting on issuing the first official forecast.”

According to the Uvet Travel Index, during the second quarter of this year, the decrease in Italy’s GDP should slow down.


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