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TMCs remain upbeat despite staffing issues

As business travel returns to Covid, travel management companies are optimistic about their prospects for 2022, according to research conducted for BTN Europe’s Top TMCs 2022 report, which surveyed more than 160 travel managers as well as more than 100 TMCs across the region.

More than a quarter of TMCs (43 percent) expect sales growth outside the 2019 level, with 26 percent forecasting growth of up to 25 percent. However, most companies (52 percent) are predicting lower sales for the year while seven percent will see no change.

Behind this optimism will be the key drivers of growth through new customer victories (according to 57 percent of respondents), followed by increased customer activity (18 percent) and the end of the epidemic (14 percent). However, snatching business from competitors can be more difficult than expected because two-thirds (67 percent) of surveyed travel buyers say they are satisfied or very satisfied with their TMC, with one in five (22 percent) declaring their level of satisfaction. Neutral

Inking a new business will depend on a combination of mindsets – rather than cheap rates – because 43 percent of buyers identify ‘culturally appropriate’ as a key part of the process when selecting a TMC partner. The survey further showed that the overall value (36 percent) is more important than the minimum transaction fee (26 percent).

Surprisingly, one in five buyers (18 percent) is dissatisfied with their TMC’s offline service due to a strong staff shortage. Meanwhile, 91 percent of TMCs identified the recruitment of skilled workers as a major challenge, as well as chronic fears of coronaviruses and other epidemics and geopolitical tensions such as the war in Ukraine.

The history of the service is also a factor influencing the business. About 40 percent of buyers have worked with their TMC for four to ten years and 15 percent have a long-term relationship for more than ten years. One-third of buyers have partnered with their TMC for one to three years, with 12 percent selecting and implementing a new TMC during the Covid-19 epidemic, working with them for less than a year.

Explore Europe’s Top TMCs 2022 here, where you’ll find essential information about the top TMCs in the UK, Germany and France, and for the first time unique rankings for Spain and Italy.

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