16 APRIL 2012

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Article from BTNews 16 APRIL 2012

Travel managers gather

With its annual conference due in Doha shortly (11-13 May) the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) held a media briefing last week. Chief Executive Anne Godfrey hosted the session with the support of Ajaya Sodha of Key Travel, the current Chairman.  Akbar Al Baker, Chairman of Qatar Airways, will open the conference no doubt with an invitation to view Doha’s  nearly completed new airport. Keynote speakers include Scott Field, Head of Online Travel at Google, Laurie Kirschner of LinkedIn and Diane Bouzeziba, Managing Director, Amadeus.  Tim Montgomerie, Editor of Conservative Home, will talk politics.

The GTMC represents 33 of the UK’s top travel management companies accounting for some 80% of business travel spend in the UK with members facilitating over 11m transactions, including around 6m airline tickets annually.

Ms Godfrey announced at the briefing the latest IATA travel figures retrieved from BSP (Bank Settlement Plan).  Members' sales and unique transactions were down by 3% and 7% respectively in March but the average year on year transaction value rose by 3.97%.  Astonishingly car hire business was up by 40%.  One explanation could be the higher APD, effective 1 April, but collected over the last six months.  Higher train fares were also noted. www.gtmc.org

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