Report: Business Travel Spending Surging in 2014

According to a new forecast, U.S. spending on  business travel is expected to see a significant year-over-year increase. The growth is being driven by travelers spending more per trip, rather than increased volume.

The Global Business Travel Association predicted that a solid 2014 was in the cards back in January, and its latest estimates, based on first-quarter data, confirm that the sunny outlook was on target.

In a new report this week, GBTA estimated that U.S.-generated business travel spending will increase by 6.8 percent in 2014, up from the 6.6 percent projection made six months ago. The new estimate, from the latest GBTA BTI Outlook, anticipates spending topping $292 billion. If the numbers hold up, it’s a sign of solid progress after two years in which the business world’s travel spending was in a little bit of a slump.

That’s good news for ensuring the industry’s ongoing growth, the group says.

“Business travel spending in the U.S. supports 7.1 million jobs,” GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick said in a news release. “We continue to see a correlation: Growth in business travel is intrinsically linked to jobs development and ultimately growth in the U.S. economy.”

Other points of note from the forecast:

The numbers for 2013 were a little better than first reported. The number of trips taken last year was revised upward by more than 20 million—from 448.7 million to 468.8 million. Spending, however, remained consistent with the previous projection of $241 billion, meaning that spending per trip was lower than anticipated, GBTA said.

While the GBTA forecast anticipates only a 2.3 percent increase in individual business travel volume in 2014, it expects spending per trip to increase 5.6 percent.

Prices aren’t jumping by leaps and bounds this year, but they likely will rise more sharply in 2015, according to the forecast. Citing stability in airfare prices, GBTA anticipates a 1.9 percent increase in travel prices throughout 2014.

Do you find yourself traveling more this year—or spending more when you do? Tell us about it in the comments.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

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

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