Careful optimism from international travel managers at the beginning of the year: one out of every five expects business travel to increase in the first quarter of 2010; only 15 percent fear a further slump. In comparison, estimates in the same period last year were significantly worse with 35 percent of all travel managers predicting a decrease. These are the results of an expert survey conducted by AirPlus with 338 travel managers in 16 international business-travel markets.Travel managers in corporations with large travel volumes prove particularly sanguine. Thirty-nine percent expect an increase in the number of their business trips. Forecasts of companies with small and medium-sized travel volumes are considerably more cautious with 18 and, respectively, 21 percent of all interviewees expecting an increase in business travel in the first quarter of 2010.The travel managers’ estimates for the individual destinations show how the expected in-crease in business travel depends on the global intertwining of companies. While 26 percent of the respondents expect a plus on intercontinental routes in comparison to the same period last year, only 22 percent assume that travels within Europe will step up. In contrast, with business travel to domestic destinations, estimates are much more restrained: only 12 percent of the travel managers figure on a growth in this segment.
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