VDR forecast

More business travel expected for 2013

Notwithstanding downward revision of the economic growth forecast, the VDR German Business Travel Association expects to see more business trips and higher spending on business mobility in the coming half-year. In October the association asked its full members for their assessment.

“The gloomy global economic outlook and the still unresolved euro debt crisis are not bypassing Germany, as an exporting nation. Instead of 1.6 percent economic expansion the German government and economic institutes are now reckoning on just 1.0 percent for 2013,” VDR President Dirk Gerdom said on November 8 at the autumn business travel and mobility management conference in Seeheim near Frankfurt. “Nonetheless, the German economy is rock solid, and this is also reflected in business travel behaviour.”

Almost half the business travel executives interviewed stated in the survey that they planned to travel more in the coming half-year and to spend more on business mobility. This assessment stems in the main from companies with more than 500 employees. A third expects less travel and consequently lower travel expenditure. Only 14 percent of the VDR members polled will be travelling more in the near future but spending less.

“The continued upward trend in business travel appears to be a counter-movement to information overload and 24/7 availability,” Gerdom told 250 business travel executives and representatives of business travel suppliers in his keynote speech at the autumn conference in the Lufthansa Training & Conference Center, Seeheim. “People are rigorously restricting their information consumption, and in some cases this is even leading to email sabbaticals and distinct downtimes.” Work-life balance is more important than ever, he insisted. “Personal contact and direct communication are enjoying a renaissance and becoming very much more important, which is a good thing. After all, business trips play a major part in a company’s business success.”