Business Travel 97 spotlights cost control

More than 20 new products and services, including the major relaunch of an airline, will be unveiled at Business Travel 97 – the UK’s only exhibition dedicated to the corporate travel market and targeted at business travel managers, buyers and arrangers.

The event, dedicated to the 20bn UK industry, takes place from February 11 to 13 at The Business Design Centre and has been organised by Centaur Exhibitions. Business Traveller, TTG and the Financial Times are sponsoring the show.

Gill Upton, editor-in-chief of Business Traveller, says: “Companies cannot afford to ignore the significant savings opportunities to be discovered at this show.”

A key part of Business Travel 97 will be the daily seminar programme which is being supported by workshop sessions. Delegates will learn how to choose and get the most out of a travel agent, strike the best deals and put together multinational air programmes. Advice will also be given on insurance, as well as the prospect for ticketless travel in Europe.

New for this year’s show are the lunchtime panel sessions. These will focus on a different topic each day. February 11 sees a head-to-head between British Airways director of sales Peter White and Virgin Atlantic commercial director Paul Griffiths on the value to customers of global alliances.

More than 130 companies representing the airline, hotel, car rental and travel management sectors will be exhibiting. Newcomers to the show include KLM, Northwest Airlines, and Intercontinental Hotels. Other travel companies at the show include Virgin Atlantic, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways and Holiday Inn Worldwide.

Business travel has been targeted as the industry’s most controllable expense. American Express has calculated that travel and related expenditure costs the average company as much as corporation tax and more than advertising. European companies spend around 94bn each year, the equivalent of 1,000 per employee per year.

“Reducing ‘hidden’ processing costs of business travel represent one of the most important opportunities companies have in the Nineties to deliver substantial savings on operating costs,” says Vahan Eminian, senior vice-president and head of corporate services Europe at American Express.

Companies in this sector also face a new challenge when the final European airline liberalisation takes full effect in June. Intensified competition around scheduling, costs and quality of service will have a major impact on companies, business travellers and travel management companies. The increased complexity of fare structures will place greater importance on managing and controlling costs.

For more information on Business Travel 97 call the Hotline on 0181-710-2185.

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