Business travellers are positive, but cost conscious, according to the 12th annual Barclaycard Business Travel Survey. The study – which was carried out at the end of last year - reported that 44% of respondents travelled more in 2007 than they did in 2006, with one in three respondents (33%) reporting that they plan to travel more in 2008 than they did in 2007 as they seek to grow their businesses. Denise Leleux, director of commercial cards, Barclaycard Business, said: “Travelling on business to expand into new markets or win new business has always been an indicator of economic confidence. This year’s results show that confidence is still there and that business people are still positive about economic and business growth. “But they are also becoming even more cost conscious – perhaps more so this year than before. And it is clear that the long-term impact of premium economy services on many long-haul scheduled carriers is continuing.” The majority of respondents (77%) anticipate travelling the same amount or more in 2008, with more than a third of those (36%) citing business expansion in the UK as the overriding reason for increased travel, while a further 31% claim overseas market expansion to be the overriding factor. Business travel no longer equates to ‘business class’ travel with more than half (55%) of respondents claiming they are most likely to purchase economy class when travelling for business. This compares with 46% in the previous year. Economy class is by far the most popular class, with 55% of respondents claiming to use it the most often, an increase of nine percentage points from last year’s survey. Over the 12-year history of the Barclaycard Business Travel Survey, business class travel has reduced significantly. In 2001, 41% of respondents cited business class travel as their main class of travel when travelling by air. Six years later just 11% now travel business or first class. For the first time, the survey looked at the environment. Findings showed that business travel remained largely unaffected by environmental concerns, with only one in 100 reducing their travel due to an environmental policy. The survey found 78% of respondents were operating without reference to any environmental travel policy –and a further 81% stated that their business did not audit carbon emissions resulting from travel. Opinion was divided on who should be responsible for the effect of business travel on the environment. Overall, 35% felt that the responsibility was that of the government – rising to more than 40% of the 238 company chairmen surveyed – while 21% believed it was the individual’s responsibility (25% of chairmen) and only 18% (13% of chairmen) that of the employer.