The UK corporate travel market is defying fears of a downturn according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel, which reported a 17% growth in sales volume year on year for January.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel president and chief executive Hubert Joly said overall growth in UK business travel was 1%-2% last month.
“We are seeing a disconnect between the state of the financial markets and the business travel market,” Joly told Travelweekly.co.uk “With the markets as they are you would assume there has been a collapse, but corporations are continuing to travel. Companies are international and people cannot stay at home.”
Joly reported a 28% rise in Carlson sales in the UK last year, in line with a 30% increase worldwide – with higher growth rates only in the US, Australia, Singapore, Russia and China – giving the world’s second-largest travel management company a turnover of $25.5 billion.
Online self-bookings now account for more than 20% of Carlson transactions in the UK – double the rate across Europe as a whole.