BTN Europe speaks to Odete Pimenta da Silva, managing director of the Netherlands Association for Travel Management (NATM)
More rail capacity and a smoother airport experience are on Odete Pimenta da Silva’s wishlist for business travellers in 2023, while topping the agenda at NATM is a new long-term strategy for the business travel association.
And while business travel in the Netherlands continues to recover – in spite of the challenges Pimenta da Silva goes on to dissect – she prefers not to predict travel volumes for the year ahead.
“What business travel will look like in 2023 depends on who you talk to,” says Pimenta da Silva. “It’s too hard to say right now. There is some pent-up demand and people are catching up. You can’t really compare to the last three years. Businesses are obsessed with 2019 but we need to move on. If you’re an entrepreneur, a start-up or a fast-growing business, you don’t know what to expect each year or you’re starting from zero anyway.”
She notes that talk of a recession “is not the first thing you see when you open a newspaper” in the Netherlands but that rising costs remain a concern for companies, travel buyers and the general public alike. “Costs have been going up but the likes of increasing energy rates are out of our hands and I think companies accept that,” she says.
Challenges impacting travel management across many European nations last year were witnessed in the Netherlands too – principally rising rates, poor service levels and capacity shortages.
Read the whole interview here