Travel Industry: Signs Point to an Up Year in 2014

A pair of new association reports project that the travel industry will see solid growth in 2014—with solid job creation, to boot.

A pair of new association reports project that the travel industry will see healthy growth in 2014—with solid job creation, to boot.

With the pressures of federal conference spending cuts and the effects of sequestration always grabbing the headlines, sometimes it seems like the travel industry hears nothing but bad news.

But it’s not all bad right now—far from it, in fact. A couple of recent reports show that the travel industry has plenty to be optimistic about in 2014.

Global travel expected to increase: 2013 was a robust year, and the numbers for business travel are expected to continue an upward trajectory this year, according to the Global Business Travel Association. GBTA anticipates a 6.6 percent increase in business travel spending this year to almost $290 billion, along with a 1.7 percent increase in the number of trips, reaching to 461 million. There’s also a notable projected jump in spending on business travel from the U.S. to the rest of the world in 2014—a predicted spike of 12.5 percent, to $36.7 billion. GBTA executive director Michael McCormick suggests that companies are seeing a clear value proposition in business travel. “Companies are certainly feeling more confident that they will make a return on their investment and get results for the bottom line,” he told USA TODAY.

The jobs are back: According to the U.S. Travel Association, the industry has held up better than others on the jobs front, and its recovery from the recession is a sure sign of that. The association says that December’s job report shows the industry added 11,000 jobs, representing 15 percent of total U.S. job growth for the month. But the growth is just the tip of the iceberg, says David Huether, the association’s senior vice president for economics and research. “As of December 2013, the travel industry has made up 99 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, compared to 86 percent of the rest of the economy, and is just 5,000 short of its pre-recession level of employment,” he said in a statement. “Moreover, the travel industry stands just 57,000 short of its record employment level set in December 2000.”

Think the travel industry’s bounce-back has the potential to boost the economy at large? Let us know your take in the comments.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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