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International Health Insurance News: Business travel 'still thriving'

Expatriate health insurance policyholders who regularly commute between countries for work are finding that despite company budgets being slashed, essential business travel is still taking place, a firm of accountants and business advisors has pointed out.

Robert Barnard, partner for hotel consultancy services at PKF, commented that while companies are nervous of committing to meetings, incentives, conferences and events that are regarded as non-essential, conferencing is still a large part of an expatriate employee's working life.

Business travel is therefore unlikely to fall further in the wake of the financial downturn and there may be signs that it is on the rise again, he explained.

Mr Barnard pointed out that hotel occupancy in London for expatriate business travellers last year was more than 80 per cent, so after taking into account quieter periods and weekend nights "that pretty much means that the rest of the time they're full".

"You can't have a much better situation than that," he added.

Research by PKF Hotel Consultancy Services showed that London hotels saw 92 per cent occupancy during June and July this year and room rate was up 21.1 per cent on the same period last year, rising from £115.17 to £139.49.

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