Travel managers in 24 countries expect more business travel in the coming year — except for the Russians.

Almost half (45%) of the 777 corporate travel managers surveyed in 24 countries expect their company to travel more in 2019. (cyano66/GettyImages)
Almost half (45%) of the 777 corporate travel managers surveyed in 24 countries expect their company to travel more in 2019. (cyano66/GettyImages)

What is 2019 going to be like for business travel? According to the 14th annual International Travel Management Study from AirPlus International, the number of business trips, and the cost of those trips, is going to rise in the coming year. Almost half (45%) of the 777 corporate travel managers surveyed in 24 countries expect their company to travel more in the year ahead - that's up from 35% in 2018, and the highest since the global financial crisis of the late 2000s. 

Of the countries surveyed, India is the one where the highest number of travel managers (83%) forecast more trips in 2019. In contrast, Russian travel managers feel that businesses will actually be travelling less compared to the previous year. 

The Russian may be cautious due to the global events, such as Brexit, slower growth in the Chinese economy, as well as international trade disputes. However, travel managers are generally optimistic, with almost half (46%) expecting the global economy to ultimately affect business travel positively in the coming months. 

"Our travel managers' prediction of increased corporate travel highlights the importance that business travel has gained over the years. Regardless of any possibly positive or negative effects of the global economy, travel managers consider business travel to be necessary and essential in order to gain new business and meet corporate challenges," says AirPlus marketing director Yaël Klein. "But more travel also means companies need to pay increased attention to controlling their rising spend. Luckily, there are many excellent tools and techniques to help track and manage travel spend. 2019 is definitely the year to put this good travel management practice in place, or review them if you already have a strong managed programme."



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