The business travel arm of Flight Centre is predicting a 15% rise in transactions in 2019 due to new business and the need for customers to travel more post-Brexit.
The corporate traveller division specialises in clients with an SME business travel spend of £50,000 to £2 million.
The company, which services clients from 20 offices nationwide, saw transactions go up by 15% this year after winning £55 million in new business.
This equates to an average of 55 to 60 new clients a month across the UK, particularly in the manufacturing sector in Manchester; educational sector in Loughborough; retail sector in Liverpool and financial sector in London.
Corporate Traveller also experienced growth in technology and retail sector clients in Scotland.
The division is targeting £75 million in new business turnover next year.
Transaction growth is expected to be prompted by increased demand for travel in 2019 due to Brexit, especially inbound bookings handled by for US and Europe-based clients.
Corporate Traveller saw a rise of almost 12% in the number of inbound air transactions this year and the TMC expects this upward trend to continue.
UK general manager Andy Hegley said: “Our SME customers who trade overseas will still need to travel whatever the outcome of the Brexit deal, in order to cement existing relations and establish new ones.
“If anything, they will need to travel more, so we expect this trend to contribute to our growth in 2019.
“We have already seen more bookings, for example, in terms of in-bound travel to the UK from US-headquartered clients, who use us as their European hub for business travel management.
“However, our growth in 2018 and forecasts for 2019 are also attributed to the fact that we are winning significant amounts of new business from larger corporates with greater volumes.
“This is because the launch of our technology platform YOUR.CT at the start of 2018 has opened up the market for us and attracted a wider range of customers, who are looking for a blended approach of technology solutions combined with personal offline service.”
The top two priorities for clients in 2019 will be cost savings and duty of care.
“Savings will still be high on the agenda for SME businesses, both in terms of identifying missed and realised savings, particularly as the UK enters the Brexit phase after March this year. So it will be even more important that they get the best value and advice on their travel policy and spend,” said Hegley.
“Travellers are also increasingly concerned about their personal safety and work-life balance.
“Our clients are therefore looking for technology and tools that will support the wellbeing of their employees while they are on the move, as well as advice on travel policy guidelines that support duty of care obligations.
“We will therefore be announcing an innovative new mobile solution early in 2019 to support our clients’ travellers more effectively.”
The TMC has 500 staff in 20 locations across England and Scotland, managing travel for more than 200 UK clients and 200,000 business travellers a year.
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