European Managed Travel: Growth Returns But Austerity Here To Stay
PhoCusWright study commissioned by Travelport identifies new consumer demands and changes in corporate booking behavior
Travelport, a leading distribution services and e-commerce provider for the global travel industry, recently released new research into the European managed travel sector.* Findings from the PhoCusWright study reveal European growth, tighter use of corporate policy and significant changes in consumer behavior.
The research concludes that austerity measures are here long-term as corporations drive for higher levels of compliance, enforcing a reduction in premium class travel and utilizing preferred suppliers.
A new breed of consumers are emerging, demanding more online access to travel bookings. This younger generation of corporate travelers are increasingly using mobile technology to shop, look, amend and book on the move. Mobile bookings are expected to gain traction in 2013 and beyond.
The research confirms growth in European managed travel:
- Total European travel sector grew to €218 billion, up 3.9%
- Managed* European travel sector climbed to €38.9 billion, up 4.4%
- By 2014, Europe’s total travel sector is projected to reach €230 billion
- For online TMCs, bookings are expected to increase by 16% in 2013 and by 13% in 2014
Against a backdrop of austerity, European low cost carriers are expanding their networks while some full-service carriers are contracting. Rail, with often comparatively lower cost fares, has also benefited, capturing 50%+ share from air for journeys up to 3.5 hours.
“A growing demand for managed travel, mobile booking capability and a closer eye on corporate spend brings opportunity for the GDS,” commented Leonidas Zotos, country manager Greece, Cyprus & Israel.
“Our recent launch of Travelport Merchandising Platform enables travelers to compare and book low cost carriers and traditional carriers in a single screen and using the same booking processes for the first time. Eurostar content is also included and is attracting a high volume of corporate bookers,” he said.
According to Mr. Zotos, these insights endorse Travelport’s view that mobile technology continues to grow in importance for travelers.
“To meet this, we’ll be continuing to enhance our Travelport ViewTrip Mobile tool which allows travelers to update travel plans on the move,” he concluded.
Read the full comprehensive analysis of the European Corporate travel market here.
* “Managed travel” refers to companies that enforce specific policies regarding their employees’ business travel. Only companies with a structured corporate travel policy are included in this analysis. These may include organizations from SMEs to large corporations.