The travel industry is on the right track, but will still experience what Graham ‘Scroo’ Turner is calling cyclical challenges, according to the Managing director of Flight Centre Australia.
Speaking to the company’s annual general meeting in Brisbane this morning, Turner said the company was very confident of both its current position and the direction of the wider industry as travel continues its comeback post-pandemic.
It appears the days of Zoom meetings are becoming a thing of the past, as businesses return to face-to-face meetings.
Melissa Elf, Flight Centre Corporate ANZ MD/FCM Global COO, said corporate travel played its part in the results, continuing its upward trajectory for FCM’s flagship brands in and out of Australia.
“FCM and Corporate Traveller have both enjoyed strong wins to start the fiscal year as we continue to gain market share across multiple sectors – with Stage and Screen solidifying its position as the market leader within their specialised travel segments.
- $6billion in first quarter (1Q) TTV – FCM’s second strongest start to a year and with corporate TTV again at record levels
- 1Q TTV increased about 20 per cent – or more than $900 million compared to the same period last year – to $6billion, just below the record circa $6.2billion result FCM delivered four years ago
- 1Q corporate TTV exceeded $3.1billion, another record, as FCM continued to outpace the broader sector’s recovery, with activity across the industry globally reaching 72 per cent of pre-COVID levels during the period (Based on MIDT data for 1Q FY23 as a percentage of 1Q FY19).
- The organic growth that has fuelled FCM’s rapid recovery to date has continued with FCM securing new, contracted accounts with projected annual spends in the order of $565 million already this year.
“We have seen an 11 per cent increase in corporate travel bookings for the first four months of the financial year versus 2022 with Mining/Oil/Gas, Government/NFP, and Services leading the way in the industries most travelled between July and October,” Elf said.
“The golden triangle of Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane has also gone from strength to strength during that time with Melbourne to Sydney bookings up 8.5 per cent, Brisbane to Sydney seeing an increase of 8.1 per cent, and Brisbane to Melbourne up just over 10 per cent.
“US-based bank Morgan Stanley surveyed 135 corporate travel managers from organisations around the world who collectively account for USD$8 billion in annual global travel spend – with corporate travel managers expecting their organisations’ travel budgets in 2024 to grow by an average of around eight per cent year-on-year.
“It will be very interesting to see how the traditionally ‘quieter’ periods of December and January for corporate travellers will pan out this year, with the ever-increasing drive towards extended ‘bleisure’ stays and the desire for in-person Christmas functions roaring back,” she said.