A quarter of all business trips are being booked online while little more than one in ten are using travel management companies, according to independent research.

Of 612 business travellers questioned in the Amadeus-commissioned survey, 25% said they usually book through an online agency, such as Opodo or Travelocity, with only 13% using a business travel agent.

Amadeus claimed the trend is being echoed in its own self-booking tools, e-Travel, which it said is showing year on year growth of 47%.

"Business travellers want speed and convenience and the online environment offers these options," said e-Travel commercial director Jerome Destors. "The advantages for both travel management companies and business travellers are vast which is why we invest so much money in continuing to enhance our online self-booking solutions."

But there was confusion about the findings as Sabre accused its rival GDS of implying that sales through self-booking channels were equally as strong.

It called on Amadeus e-Travel to produce transaction figures to back up the suggestion.

"A corporate self-booking tool like e-Travel or GetThere [Sabre’s self-booking tool] is not the same as an online travel agency like Opodo or Travelocity," said vice president of GetThere and corporate travel Floyd Widener.

"It is wrong therefore to imply that any growth in the use of online travel agencies equates to growth in the use of corporate self-booking tools. We have challenged e-Travel to provide like-for-like European transaction figures but have been met with a deafening silence."

The GDS also questioned the online agency figure of 25%, suggesting bookings were still in single figures.

Sabre said its own transaction figures through GetThere were now at 50,000 a month.