Data exclusive to the GTMC – the industry body for the UK's business travel sector – shows that flights to Europe remain unaffected in 2016 despite a year of political change and global unrest.
The top 20 business travel destinations based on flights booked by Travel Management Company (TMC) members of the GTMC in 2016 demonstrates a continued strong reliance on business travel to countries within the European Union. Almost three quarters of the top 20 destinations as cities that sit within the European Union. Breaking the figures down to pre- and post- the Brexit referendum, the destinations show no change.
The terror attacks in Paris at the end of 2015 and Brussels and Nice in 2016 had little effect on decisions to travel on business to these destinations. Paris remains in the top ten cities for business travel and Brussels in the top 20 throughout 2016. While not in the top 20, business travel to Nice saw an increase after last year's Bastille Day terrorist attack as flight bookings doubled in the second half of the year.
Paul Wait, CEO of the GTMC said:
"There is no doubt that despite the current socioeconomic climate, business travellers are defiant and recognise the need to travel to do business is bigger than ever. It'll be interesting to see how this list will change in the first half of 2017 as Brexit trade plans become clearer and we have a better understanding of the international growth opportunities.
"There is a clear, heavy reliance on Europe and it's important that businesses also bear in mind the key international growth areas further afield. Southeast Asia is a prime example as a region ripe for business opportunities too."
The GTMC has analysed over 890,000 flights booked by member Travel Management Companies (TMCs) specifically looking at international travel from the UK throughout 2016. The data was compiled by the 7R Group.