Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

UK Business Traveller market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Business Traveller market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Scope of this Report

This Report covers the market for business travel by UK employees/self-employed adults, both within the UK and overseas. Data and discussion within the consumer sections of this Report refers to both day trips and overnight stays. Market size and forecast data for the UK domestic market specifically includes overnight stays on business only, while overseas data includes all business trips abroad. The Report excludes any holiday/leisure travel, visiting friends and relatives, travel, daily commuting to/from work or any other purposes of travel.

What you need to know

Business travel is suffering in the wake of the Brexit vote. According to data from the ONS, the number of overseas business trips taken by UK employees declined by 5.4% to 6.8 million in 2017. Mintel expects this figure to fall again in 2018, to reach 6.6 million. Businesses are spending less on overseas travel services. Around a third of business travellers say their company is cutting back on business class travel and opting for premium economy or standard economy flights.

However, there are still opportunities for travel suppliers and operations in the business travel sector. Companies will gravitate towards services that will help them save money and time, as well as navigate the complexities of GDPR regulations. However, the same GDPR regulations will prove challenging for travel suppliers and travel management companies (TMCs) that rely on customer data to operate effectively. TMCs should prepare for the possibility that some businesses may push GDPR accountability and management to them.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Fergal McGivney, a leading analyst in the Travel sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Businesses are cutting back on travel in light of uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the impact of a weak pound. Airline GDS fees and new GDPR regulations are also making life more difficult for British-based companies. However, there are opportunities for larger TMCs to develop products that help businesses save money and navigate the choppy waters of GDPR regulations. There are also great opportunities for startups and new entrants to the market to develop tools that help businesses save money on travel and accommodation. Fergal McGivney
Senior Technology & Travel Analyst

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Scope of this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Overseas business travel is in decline as businesses cut spending
              • Figure 1: Forecast volume of overseas business trips taken by UK residents, 2013-23
            • Decline in business trips to Scotland and Wales
              • Figure 2: Forecast volume of domestic business trips taken by UK residents, 2013-23
            • The consumer
              • The proportion of business travellers is in decline
                • Figure 3: Business travel, domestic versus overseas, May 2018
              • Growth opportunities in conferences and events
                • Figure 4: Business travel participation, May 2017 and May 2018
              • Business traveller profile; fewer women are taking business trips
                • Figure 5: Business trips taken, by gender, May 2018
              • Business travel; a young man’s game
                • Figure 6: Business trips taken, by age, May 2018
              • Rail travel increases put pressure on domestic business travel
                • Figure 7: Modes of transport for business travel, May 2018
              • Companies could cut back on use of travel management companies
                • Figure 8: How business trip was booked, May 2018
              • Companies can blur the lines of business and leisure to foster brand loyalty
                • Figure 9: Attitudes towards business trips, May 2018
              • What we think
              • Issues and Insights

                • Mobile banking apps are cutting costs for businesses
                  • The facts
                    • The implications
                      • Tough challenges lie ahead for travel management companies
                        • The facts
                          • The implications
                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                            • Overseas business trips are in decline
                              • Caution affecting how companies do business throughout Great Britain
                                • Large decrease in business trips to Scotland and Wales
                                  • A brighter domestic outlook for 2018
                                    • Domestic segment should help prop up wider business travel market
                                      • Top 10 markets for overseas business travel
                                        • Brexit negotiations fuelling uncertainty
                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                          • Market falls as businesses cut back on overseas spending
                                            • Overseas business travel in decline
                                                • Figure 10: Volume and value of overseas business trips taken by UK residents, 2013-23
                                                • Figure 11: Forecast volume of overseas business trips taken by UK residents, 2013-23
                                                • Figure 12: Forecast value of overseas business trips taken by UK residents, 2013-23
                                              • Business travel in England to remain largely flat, while trips in Wales and Scotland decline
                                                • Figure 13: Volume and value of domestic business trips taken by UK residents, 2013-23
                                              • A significant decline in trips to Scotland and Wales
                                                • Figure 14: Domestic business travel in Great Britain, 2016 versus 2017
                                              • Rising hotels costs in the UK will add to domestic expenditure
                                                • Figure 15: Allocation of budget while travelling on business, May 2018
                                                • Figure 16: Forecast volume of domestic business trips taken by UK residents, 2013-23
                                                • Figure 17: Forecast value of domestic business trips taken by UK residents, 2013-23
                                              • Domestic segment should help prop up wider business travel market
                                                • Figure 18: Total (domestic and overseas) volume and value of business trips taken by UK residents, 2013-23
                                                • Figure 19: Forecast volume of total business trips taken by UK residents, 2013-23
                                                • Figure 20: Forecast value of total business trips taken by UK residents, 2013-23
                                              • Forecast methodology
                                              • Market Background

                                                • Business trips declined in the first three quarters of 2017
                                                  • Figure 21: Business trips by quarter, Q1-3 2016-17
                                                  • Figure 22: Business trips by quarter, 2016-17
                                                • Top 10 markets for overseas business travel
                                                  • Figure 23: Top 10 outbound markets, Q1-3 2016-17
                                                  • Figure 24: Top 10 outbound markets, full year 2016-17 (est)
                                                • As the pound remains weak against the euro and US dollar, expect companies to cut back
                                                  • Figure 25: Value of pound sterling, versus euro and US dollar, June 2015-18
                                                • Oil prices on the increase which could increase airfares
                                                  • Figure 26: Europe Brent Spot Price FOB (Dollars per Barrel), May 2013-18
                                                • Brexit negotiations fuelling uncertainty
                                                • Companies and Brands – What You Need to Know

                                                  • Hyatt Leverage corporate travel scheme targets SMEs
                                                    • Freebird smartphone app helps manage flight disruptions
                                                      • Lumo uses machine learning to predict flights
                                                        • Concur partners with Slack and is working on Amazon Alexa tasks
                                                          • Shep travel is a lightweight Google Chrome extension that helps track travel bookings
                                                            • Chauffer driven Blacklane raises over £30 million in Series D funding
                                                            • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                              • Freebird smartphone app helps manage flight disruptions
                                                                • Figure 27: Mobile-based Freebird helps travellers rebook disrupted flights
                                                              • Lumo uses machine learning to predict flights
                                                                • Figure 28: Lumo’s flight prediction tool
                                                              • Concur partners with Slack and is working on Amazon Alexa tasks
                                                                • Figure 29: Concur and Slack partnership brings Concur Expense Beta
                                                              • Shep travel is a lightweight Google Chrome extension that helps track travel bookings
                                                                • Figure 30: Shep’s simple chrome plugin suggests the best flights
                                                              • Chauffer driven Blacklane raises over £30 million in Series D funding
                                                                • Hyatt Leverage corporate travel scheme targets SMEs
                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                  • The proportion of business travellers is in decline
                                                                    • Still opportunities for conferences and events in the UK
                                                                      • Business travel; a young man’s game
                                                                        • Rail travel increases put pressure on domestic business travel
                                                                          • Businesses may opt for more economy options as they cut spending
                                                                            • The decline of travel management companies?
                                                                              • Business travellers opting for Airbnb
                                                                              • Business Travel Participation

                                                                                • The proportion of business travellers is in decline
                                                                                  • Figure 31: Business Travel, domestic versus overseas, May 2018
                                                                                • Despite the downturn there are still opportunities for conferences and events on home soil
                                                                                  • Figure 32: Business travel participation, May 2017 -18
                                                                                • Frequency of business trips expected to decline
                                                                                  • Figure 33: Frequency of business trips in the UK, May 2018
                                                                                  • Figure 34: Frequency of business trips abroad, May 2018
                                                                                • GDPR presents a hurdle to personalisation
                                                                                  • Figure 35: Occasional business traveller versus frequent business traveller, May 2018
                                                                              • Profile of the Business Traveller

                                                                                • Fewer women are taking business trips as businesses cut spending
                                                                                  • Figure 36: Business trips taken, by gender, May 2018
                                                                                • Business travel; a young man’s game
                                                                                  • Figure 37: Business trips taken, by age, May 2018
                                                                                • Heathrow’s third runway set to boost business travel in the South East
                                                                                  • Figure 38: Business trips taken, by region, May 2018
                                                                              • Business Travel Transport

                                                                                • Rail travel increases put pressure on domestic business travel
                                                                                  • Figure 39: Modes of transport for business travel, May 2018
                                                                                • Rising cost of oil makes travel more expensive
                                                                                  • Figure 40: Modes of transport for business travel, May 2018
                                                                                • Increasing fuel costs could boost electric car hire use
                                                                                  • Innovations in the car hire market will benefit business travellers
                                                                                    • Businesses may opt for more economy options as they cut spending
                                                                                        • Figure 41: Class of transport for business travel, May 2018
                                                                                    • Business Travel Booking

                                                                                      • The decline of travel management companies?
                                                                                        • Figure 42: How business trip was booked, May 2018
                                                                                      • Over a third of companies use TMCs
                                                                                          • Figure 43: Use of travel management company, May 2018
                                                                                        • TMCs tend to be used more by larger corporations
                                                                                          • Figure 44: Business travel, by company size, May 2018
                                                                                          • Figure 45: How business trip was booked, by company size, May 2018
                                                                                        • Major players are embracing rebooking technology
                                                                                          • Figure 46: Main players in the TMC market
                                                                                      • Business Travel Behaviour

                                                                                        • Companies can blur the lines of business and leisure to foster brand loyalty
                                                                                          • Figure 47: Behaviours towards business trips, May 2018
                                                                                        • Helping frugal travellers earn monetary rewards
                                                                                          • Mobile banking apps proving a disruptive force
                                                                                            • The professionalisation of peer-to-peer accommodation
                                                                                              • Airbnb rolls out BTR service
                                                                                                • Benefits for business travellers
                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology
                                                                                                      • Appendix – Market Size and Forecast

                                                                                                        • Forecast methodology
                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Best- and worst-case forecast for overseas business travel volume, 2018-23
                                                                                                            • Figure 49: Best- and worst-case forecast for overseas business travel value, 2018-23
                                                                                                            • Figure 50: Best- and worst-case forecast for domestic business travel volume, 2018-23
                                                                                                            • Figure 51: Best- and worst-case forecast for domestic business travel value, 2018-23
                                                                                                            • Figure 52: Best- and worst-case forecast for total business travel volume (domestic and overseas), 2018-23
                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Best- and worst-case forecast for total business travel value (domestic and overseas), 2018-23