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GALLUP SURVEY INDICATES BUSINESS TRAVEL TO RISE DESPITE TAX BILL AND ECONOMY

 PITTSBURGH, Aug. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the new tax bill and the economy, travel managers expect that business travel will increase in the next few years, according to a survey sponsored by Visa Business Card. In addition, although travel managers foresee that videoconferencing is on the rise, they do not think it will replace business travel in the near future.
 The findings come from a survey conducted July 6-16, 1993 by the Gallup Organization Inc. Gallup interviewed 400 respondents, half the membership of the National Business Travel Association (NBTA). NBTA is the largest professional association of high-volume travel service purchasers in world. The research was designed to look at future issues in business travel management.
 "This is very upbeat news for the corporate travel industry," said Robert Levaro, vice president of commercial card products for Visa International. "Both the new tax legislation and the economy represent difficult obstacles for the future of business travel, and this research clearly indicates they will not hinder future growth."
 The survey indicated half of all respondents expect business travel to increase overall in the next few years, while only 20 percent expect it to decrease. However, most travel managers (73 percent) indicated that the average length of business trips in their organizations will remain the same. Slightly more than half (51 percent) said they believe the new tax legislation, with its reduction in allowance for business meals and entertainment, will have no impact on business travel.
 Fifty-three percent of those surveyed expect videoconferencing to increase in the next year or so, although 65 percent say it is not replacing business travel in their organizations.
 Within the next year, 47 percent of travel managers expect the general economy to have a greater impact on corporate travel than any internal or technological trends. Technological advances that reduce the need for travel, as an example, was cited by only 23 percent.
 "Although it is not surprising that the economy is expected to have a strong impact on the business travel industry, it is remarkable that leaders within the industry do not see a slow economy curtailing an increase in this kind of travel," said Robert L. Nielsen, senior vice president and managing director, western region, of the Gallup Organization Inc. "Perhaps it is an indication of the importance of corporate travel to the success of conducting business in today's world."
 Roughly half (49 percent) of respondents expect business travelers to use corporate cards more in the coming years. Only 2 percent expect use to decrease. Nearly 90 percent of respondents say the cards help their organizations control costs.
 Two strong markets currently exist for business cards: business travel and entertainment (T&E) and business (procurement) purchases. Visa predicts that business purchases have a card market potential of $300 billion, and travel and entertainment expenses have a market potential of $130 billion.
 Visa is the largest consumer payment system in the world with more than 10.4 million acceptance locations and 309 million cards issued worldwide, including 152 million in the United States. Visa also has the leading global ATM network.
 -0- 8/18/93
 /CONTACT: Debbe Stern of Visa, 415-431-4022/


CO: Visa ST: California IN: LEI SU:

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 18, 1993
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