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UK SMEs waste tens of thousands a year on business travel

SMEs have frequently been referred to as the ‘backbone of the UK economy’, according to many leading politicians and market reports.

However, a recent survey has revealed that these companies may not be operating at maximum levels of efficiency.

Research released today has revealed that just 4 per cent of SMEs surveyed, mainly use a travel management company when it comes to booking their business trips. Instead, small to medium sized companies favour their employees footing the initial bill and then compensating their expenses, with more than one in four, choosing to organise their business travel in this way.

The survey conducted by LateRooms.com has also revealed that the average SME takes a total of 88 minutes to plan and book a business trip, which is even longer for those companies with more than 50 employees. Medium enterprises are wasting an additional 12 minutes, with individual business travel bookings taking 100 minutes to complete on average.

These results are particularly surprising given that more than half of SMEs felt that doing business and building relations was best achieved when done in person, increasing the need for business travel.

Graeme Descoteaux, Head of LateRooms.com Business, said: “It’s a shame to see that SMEs continue to feel that the use of Travel Management Companies are out of their reach. In actual fact, the use of an external company can actually save companies money, as well as time, whether they have 100 employees or 100,000, and we want to dispel the myth that TMCs should only be used by the larger corporations. With great savings and free VAT reconciliations, a service which saves the average business £14,000, it means that both the booker and traveler get to experience the wide array of hotels LateRooms.com has to offer, in a cost-efficient way.”