Despite the sluggish economy, more businesses are looking to increase travel in order to improve procurement and gain new contracts.

According to the new AirPlus International Travel Management Study 2013, only seven per cent of UK respondents said they expect the number of business trips to fall in the next 12 months. Some 28 per cent of Brits thought there would be more trips made this year.

The figures are in contrast to Western Europe overall, as 14 per cent of those polled thought that they would be taking fewer trips.

Yael Klein, UK managing director at AirPlus International, said: “What really stands out for me this year is that UK GDP remains stuck in a narrow band either side of zero per cent, yet it is not stopping British companies boarding flights in search of new business.”  

The number of businesses with travel policies is also increasing. In this survey, just six per cent of those polled had no policy, while last year that number was 16 per cent. Those with a policy for all aspects of travelling increased from 67 per cent in the previous study to 81 per cent this year, illustrating a clear trend of rising importance.

However, 38 per cent of UK managers expected travel costs to rise, more than the 28 per cent in Western Europe. Due to an expectation of increasing costs, 45 per cent said they were looking to make savings on air travel and 54 per cent said the same about hotel spend.

However, the UK is ahead of Western Europe when it comes to data – which may explain why they are more concerned about costs. More than eight out of ten analyse travel spend, compared to a global average of 56 per cent.

Nevertheless, the number of firms that have a corporate deal with an airline or airlines to cut costs was just 46 per cent, compared to a Western European average of 54 per cent.