Growth in business travel of 27% this year is set to outstrip the levels of 2011-12, according to new research.

The study of corporate travellers predicts UK business travel growth will exceed the 20% level seen in the previous two years, despite a challenging 2012.

Half of the 2,500 people polled across Europe – including 250 from the UK – said they travelled for work at least once a month over the last 12 months, while 15% travel weekly and 7% on a daily basis.

A growing demand from business travellers to maximise business opportunities in emerging markets, such as Asia and Latin America, emerged with travel from the UK to these destinations rising by 21% between 2011 and 2013.

Service, not price, was the main factor for business travellers when determining a travel provider, with 20% choosing quality and 17% speed of service. The remainder of respondents chose online booking solutions (14%), loyalty offers (5%) and exclusive incentives (4%).

High levels of loyalty among business travellers to a particular travel provider is revealed, with 88% from the UK saying they will often or always use the same brand, 12% higher than the European average.

Car travel remains the most popular method of transport amongst business travellers with 64% of responses stating they travel by car, compared to 24% for public transport and 11% for air travel.

The motivation for choosing car travel is convenience according to 81% of respondents, significantly ahead of cost, which was only ranked as the most important factor by 32%.

The importance of convenience was further demonstrated when respondents were asked to consider the top three factors which would influence their choice of business vehicle. More than a quarter (27%) believed vehicle delivery and collection was important, followed by roadside assistance (25%) and GPS (19%).

Kaye Ceille, managing director at Avis UK, which conducted the survey, said: “Business travel is not limited to just one location – in today’s turbulent environment, businesses need to be flexible enough to follow new opportunities in emerging markets.

“Despite economic pressures, it’s reassuring that British businesses still value quality over cost.”