The International Air Transport Association (IATA), announced full-year global passenger traffic results for 2016 showing demand lifting 6 per cent over 2015, with the Asia Pacific region demand growing by 8 per cent.
This trend is reflected in the FCM Travel Solutions NZ Spotlight on Business Travel Trends 2017 report, which shows business travel continues to rise, despite technology such as Skype for Business and WebEx.
95 per cent of FCM Travel Solutions clients when surveyed said they would be continuing to spend the same, if not more on their international travel volumes.
In 2005, ahead of the Global Financial Crisis, the number of trips taken annually by FCM clients was just 3.5 per annum. This increased by almost 75 percent to 6.1 in 2016. The company anticipate by the end of 2017 this will rise to 7 trips per annum.
Andy Jack, general manager FCM Travel Solutions New Zealand, said the report has shown the continuing need for in-person meetings.
“The need for face-to-face meetings and conferences has not diminished and the value of personal relationships is still paramount for businesses.
As travel becomes more accessible and affordable New Zealand corporates are travelling further and more frequently, recognising that in-person interaction is, and will remain, a vital part of business.”
It will come as no surprise that the report shows the overall cost of business travel has increased over the past 12 years, with more than a 30 per cent increase noted since 2006.
Mr Jack says this increase sits largely within accommodation. FCM’s Spotlight on Domestic Travel article highlighted 30 new hotels are required across the country by 2025 to keep up with demand and that potentially only 15 will eventuate. This level of demand and supply issues has seen room rates gradually increase.
“While airfares have become more affordable the majority of the business travel costs we are seeing are in accommodation. Supply issues around hotels have seen a spike in rates, however, we also see many businesses aren’t willing to compromise on accommodation for their employees.
“Travel can be complicated – within this market its important businesses work smarter, seeking advice on travel and travel policies in order to attain significant savings across the year.