Who is doing the travelling in London?

We know that business travel is changing post-recession. It’s less about how much travel is being done, and more about who is doing the travelling in London.

A new survey by Airplus suggests that travel buyers in the UK are not expecting much change in 2013. This is good news. 100 travel buyers in the country were quizzed and two thirds – 64% – said they expected figures to stay the same as last year. Just under a third – 28% – expected to see an increase.

How can staying the same be positive, you ask? It means no decline, which on the back of seven years of downturn is definitely good news. However it also means the industry will be shifting and suppliers like Clarendon Serviced Apartments, as well as travel buyers who work with businesses helping to arrange and book in their travel needs, we need to keep on top of the shifting trends.

Buying Business Travel magazine has investigated the changing trends within the City. Often synonymous with big spending and big budgets, it is in the Square Mile that attitudes are changing and this will have an impact on business travel. The City as a financial hub is one that has been hit squarely in the eyes by the global downturn, forcing a change in behaviour. Gone are the days of unlimited travel budgets and accounts. They have to be seen to be doing the right thing, to spend less money and when they do spend to ensure every step of the journey is spent frugally, within company policy and is the best deal they good get. Forget writing a blank cheque, instead companies now actively seek the best deal.

Company travel policies are increasingly more important. This may only allow travel to more senior members of staff – possibly those better trusted with the company credit card, who can fit more into a business trip and stay on message – and focus on getting a good deal with a trusted supplier. Internal approval, sign off of expenses and justification of where the money is going; this is now part and parcel of business travel among major corporate firms in The City.

What does this mean for the business travel industry? It focuses the attention on building good relationships. It becomes increasingly important to emphasise that you are supplying a company with the best deal, that you have their travel policy at the forefront of their mind and will work hard to help them adhere to it. This helps to engender trust and ensures the company will come back the next time to plan their trip.

For Clarendon Serviced Apartments there is a real opportunity. For companies looking for a more cost-effective solution a service apartment is the answer. With apartments located throughout The City, proximity to the office isn’t a problem. A serviced apartment works out cheaper than a hotel over a longer stay, reducing the cost. It also means fewer expenses bills. What is it cheaper to do? Cook your evening meal yourself with a few ingredients from the local supermarket, or dining out in London’s restaurants every night?

For firms looking to reduce their travel bill and expenses, a serviced apartment is the ideal solution to house workers on contract or relocating. Apartments are luxurious as well as practical so are perfect for a client who’s signing on the dotted line and needs to spend some time with the business. A serviced apartment allows you to immerse yourself in city life while providing a relaxed and comfortable place to stay.

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Lucy Rose

A Marketing Specialist working for Clarendon Serviced Apartments, a dedicated provider of serviced apartments in London for over 25 years. My passion lies in writing about accommodation, travel and all things London.

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