Data released by the BTA shows the UK lost £5.4 billion in GDP last week due to the decline of business travel in the pandemic.
The figure is based on data analysed by the BTA’s new Business Travel Tracker, developed in partnership with Travelogix
The tracker will explore the reduction of business travel per week and its effect on GDP from 10 of the top business travel destinations, based on international and domestic air routes.
The BTA hopes the data will help raise awareness of the importance of business travel to the UK and global economy and put pressure on the UK Government to get businesses moving again.
CEO Clive Wratten, who spoke about the initiative in The Business Travel Podcast, said: “The impact on our industry following the Coronavirus pandemic has been catastrophic. As a lucrative driver for the UK and the world, it is more important than ever to demonstrate the immense value of the BTA’s members, partners, and the entire business travel sector.
“These figures powered by Travelogix are staggering, and we are confident our weekly Business Travel Tracker will provide a stark reminder to the Government of the overwhelming significance of business travel to UK GDP.”
The tracker found that in the third week of May 2021, business travel trips from the UK dropped by 89.69% from 2019 pre-pandemic levels, versus the same week in May 2019, with a reduction of 131,349 business trips.
This shows UK GDP lost £4.4 billion from international business travel and a further £1 billion from domestic business travel.
While international travel restrictions remain in place, the BTA will share statistics on routes from the UK to France, Germany, China, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Singapore, Switzerland, Spain, UAE and the U.S.
The route data shows travel restrictions to France cost UK GDP £778 million, to the U.S. £598 million and to Germany £720 million.
Chris Lewis, Founder and CEO of Travelogix, said: “As the representative body for the TMC and business travel community, the BTA’s unwavering support throughout the pandemic has been greatly admired by us, and trade bodies across the industry.
“That is why we are delighted to be working with them on this important campaign, and we hope our accurate, real-time data will drive global awareness of the impact of the current travel restrictions. We look forward to our data turning positive as the world opens up.”