Four out of ten buyers will have bigger travel budgets in 2018

Four out of ten buyers (40 per cent) will have bigger corporate travel budgets in 2018, compared to 32 per cent 12 months ago. Half of buyers (49 per cent) claim they will also have more to spend on air travel and accommodation. However, 45 per cent expect to have more trips to manage next year and 47 per cent expect total travel costs to rise.

This is according to research carried out by Business Travel Show, which was answered by 243 buyers*. Business Travel Show is Europe’s leading event for corporate travel professionals and takes place at Olympia London from 21-22 February 2018. 

The poll revealed (please read on for full table of results):

  • A huge leap in buyers with increased accommodation spend – 49 per cent compared to 32 per cent yoy
  • Half of buyers with bigger airline budgets – 49 per cent compared to 40 per cent yoy
  • Just 15 per cent of buyers will have fewer trips to manage
  • Almost half of buyers (47 per cent) expect travel costs to increase

Carrie Nederpel, travel specialist in the Netherlands and Business Travel Show advisory board member, said: “From what I have noticed here in the Netherlands, business is booming and, along with that, travel. The need and financial ability for corporate travel is increasing, as are the budgets to do so.  The challenge for a travel buyer is how to spend our increase in money wisely and ‘shop around’, as it were. For me, the Business Travel Show is the perfect venue to do this.”

A senior corporate travel manager added: “From my point of view, the growth of corporate travel budgets is in line with company growth and the increase in number of required trips and not necessarily an increase in travel costs.”

David Chapple, Business Travel Show event director, added: “This time last year, geopolitical events such as Brexit and the imminent inauguration of President Trump left many concerned for the economy and the widespread feeling of uncertainty about what the future holds undoubtedly leaked in to the corporate travel market. 

“The results of our survey, however, indicate that caution in business travel was short-lived and budgets and growth appear to be healthier than ever. In fact, some commentators have even suggested corporate travel may do better than other industries, as companies invest more in travel to explore alternative trade avenues outside of Europe following the Brexit vote.”


How budgets will compare between 2017 and 2018 including historical research data:

 18 vs 1717 vs 1616 v 15’15 v ‘1414 v 1313 v 1212 v 11
The same48%47%     
Travel costs       
The same40%      
Number of trips managed       
The same40%15%19%14%22%22% 
Airline budgets       
The same40%45%43%46%24%  
Accommodation budgets       
The same31%54%41%43%   
Will you book more room nights?        
Yes – more45%      
Don’t know31%      



*243 travel buyers took part in the seventh Business Travel Show annual survey in November 2017 with responsibility for managing travel across one or more territories, as outlined below.

UK – 67%
Rest of Europe – 32%
Outside Europe – 24%

Respondents’ travel budget:

Under £150k                                       30%

£151k – £500k                                     16%

£501k – £1m                                        10%

£1m – £3m                                          12%

£3m – £10m                                        12%

£10m – £20m                                      7%

More than £20 m                                12%


Number of travellers responsible for:

Fewer than 50                                              31%

51-100                                                           15%

101-500                                                         10%

501-1000                                                       7%

1001-2500                                                     18%

More than 2500                                            18%

NA                                                                   11%