Online booking of airline tickets by managed corporate travelers continues to advance in Europe, but the rate of that acceleration and the reasons for it are grounds for industry argument.

Some buyers, travel agency executives and corporate booking tool providers told BTN online booking system penetration and adoption rates are picking up fast. Expedia Corporate Travel, however, said online penetration of European corporate travel remains "in low single figures." Joint managing director for the United Kingdom Mike Bor said the rate of acceleration is falling behind the curve experienced in the United States earlier in the decade. Bor blamed the major travel management companies for the slow uptake, accusing them of discouraging clients from pursuing the online channel because they do not know how to adapt their business model to the lower revenues that it entails.

Other industry participants concur that growth has been disappointing, but point the finger at other factors, ranging from inadequacies in the technology to lack of commitment by clients to the innate complexities of the European travel marketplace.

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