Impact Consultants is making a lasting entrance into the UK with the addition of Juliette Thorpe to its team!

Juliette Thorpe’s arrival at Impact Consultants presents an ideal opportunity to review the current dynamics of the tourism, travel, and transport sectors in the United Kingdom, a market undergoing significant changes.

The UK has always been an attractive country for tourism, and 2024 marks the year of its post-pandemic renaissance. With a contribution to the British economy of ÂŁ252 billion in 2023 (11% of GDP), the tourism sector has finally recovered and surpassed its pre-pandemic levels (ÂŁ248 billion in 2019).

Following Brexit, the Covid crisis, and recently, the rise in interest rates and overall costs, Britons are turning to domestic holidays – « staycations ». In 2023, total domestic holiday spending reached ÂŁ26 billion, alongside a noticeable decline in overseas travel (-23%). Only time will tell what the impact of the European Union’s imposed ETIAS tourist visa on British travelers will be.

Alongside this domestic retreat, two other strong trends are sustainability and the environment. Whether in transportation or hospitality, the British tourism market has seen the emergence of numerous eco-friendly startups – from Byway to Ecohotels, Trees4Travel, and Weeva. This trend is confirmed in Business Travel, with 60% of British travel managers confirming that environmental issues are at the heart of their travel policy changes. This includes the creation of a sustainability award (Business Travel Sustainability Award won this year by BCD Travel).

Business travel has always been a strong driver of the UK economy (over ÂŁ27 billion by 2023), and its market has historically been fragmented, with numerous players offering a wide range of services, often grouped together in consortia such as Advantage or Focus Group. But recent years have seen the emergence of strong concentration movements, as illustrated by serial mergers/acquisitions – ReedMcKay & Navan, Travelperk & ClickTravel or AmexGBT & KDS/HRG/Egencia and the latest CWT. These far-reaching changes are sure to create a real call for new entrants to the UK and European markets in general. Innovation with new technologies such as AI will be a challenge in this ever-changing business travel landscape.

The global market for generative AI in Travel was estimated at 632 million USD in 2022, and is expected to grow 6-fold by 2032.

Another structural point of the English market is the liberalization of its transport systems. With the 1968 Transport Act, the UK was the first country to liberalize its railways. But as the rest of Europe follows its lead and opens its railways to competition, the British public revolts against poor and expensive transport services with repeated strikes, and the government fails to find adequate responses (Great British Railway – GBR – project put on hold).

Finally, it is essential to highlight that the UK remains at the forefront of air transport, housing two giants of the sector: the IAG group and EasyJet, thus consolidating its position as a leader in European and global air transport.

In this context of renewal and evolution, IMPACT CONSULTANTS is expanding its footprint in the UK with the arrival of Juliette Thorpe as a Senior Consultant! With over 25 years of experience in B2B and Tech, including 16 years dedicated to Business Travel, Juliette is a recognized expert in project management, transformation, commercial development, and partnerships in the TMC, Rail, and Hospitality sectors. Her expertise, gained from giants of the Travel industry such as Egencia and American Express Global Business Travel, strengthens our team with the ambition to build lasting partnerships and support travel industry players internationally in their growth challenges, Now and for the Long Haul! 


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