The GTMC has hired lobbying firm Cavendish Communications to increase its influence at Westminster.


However, Cavendish account manager Gareth Morgan said members would have to wait to see the results.


“We need realistic expectations and first need to establish the GTMC as a trusted, expert partner,” said Morgan.


“Ministers respond best to those who help them. It is all about developing influence in the future by establishing political respect. Otherwise, why should ministers listen to the GTMC rather than any other organisation?”


Morgan pointed out that ministers are often transient, with the average minister holding an office for one-and-a-quarter years before moving. “They do not build up a lot of expertise,” he said.


MPs have little influence most of the time, he added, but can “table awkward questions”. However, the aim should be to gain access to ministers consistently and not just be a nuisance.


Morgan said: “The GTMC can punch its weight. A huge among of spending comes through guild members.”


Institute of Travel Management chairman Caroline Strachan agreed. The ITM had Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair’s former head of communications, address its conference last month and Strachan said: “Campbell did not understand business travel existed. We have been hidden for too long.”