Advantage 2008: Travel overspend costs UK businesses £175m a year

Small business in the UK are wasting £175m each year by not booking their business travel through an agent, says new research from Advantage.

The consortium claims that companies are under increasing pressure to reduce costs but are wasting their corporate travel budgets because they are allowing staff to book their own flights and hotels on the internet.

Advantage estimates its TMC members can reduce companies travel spend by 25%, with flights alone around 40% cheaper.

Advantage Travel Centres’ director of business travel Norman Gage said that business travel members with their local knowledge are ideally placed to work with the small business sector.

He said: “The current economic situation means businesses in all sectors will be looking to make savings as we go into 2009 and beyond.

“But it is a fact that many cannot avoid the necessary expenditure on travel and that is where the expertise of a good business travel agency can be invaluable.

“It is absolutely crazy for companies not to manage their budget effectively. The level of wastage revealed in our calculations is simply astonishing.”

He added: “Small businesses like the reassurance of having a local travel agent working for them, since it’s great to have someone close by who knows and appreciates their needs.”

The Advantage wastage figure was derived from calculating the total amount of spend on business travel of companies with five or more staff which does not go through a travel agent. Then Advantage applied the typical percentage saving an Advantage business member can make for its clients on the total.

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