Small businesses up travel spend

Small businesses in the UK have increased their travel agency spend according to the latest figures from Visa Europe.

The payment card specialist has reported an improvement in small business spending in the first two quarters of 2009, after declines in the last three months of 2008.

Travel, alongside temporary recruitment, has seen significant increases with the number of transaction made on Visa Business Cards up 10% year-on-year in June 2009.

Payment values for the first two quarters of this year showed increases of 5% and 13% respectively following a decline of 26% decline in the value of payments between the third and fourth quarters of last year.

Although the figures show payments to travel agents have been increasing, businesses are still keeping tight control of spending on travel and accommodation.

The number of Visa Business Card transactions made on air travel has returned to pre-October levels but the value of those transactions is on average 3% lower in Q1 and Q2 2009 compared to the same period last year.

Hotel and accommodation has seen a similar pattern but the value of transactions has declined an average of 19% during the first half of the year.

Overall, by the end of the second quarter of this year spending on Visa Business Cards had seen a return to pre-September levels.

In June 2009 transactions made on Visa Business Cards were up 19% on the previous year.  The amount spent had increased 11% year-on-year.

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