Postrecovery, Business Travel Expected to Slump in 2015

Updated projections from the Global Business Travel Association show that while U.S. travel spending remains on the uptick, trip volume is expected to increase only modestly. The association blames the "erratic performance" of the economy for the slowdown.

The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) projections for 2015 aren’t looking so rosy after all.

The association says that U.S. travel spending is still looking pretty solid, with a 4.9 percent increase anticipated in 2015, compared to 2014. But the number of trips being taken is expected to grow by only 1 percent, to 488.1 million trips. It’s a bit of a comedown for the industry, which has recovered significantly from the 2009 recession.

The group remains positive on the outlook for 2016, however.

“U.S. business travel was poised for significant growth in 2015, but the erratic performance of key economic drivers caused some to tap the brakes on additional travel spending,” GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick said in a news release. “Yet, economic fundamentals remain strong. Business travel will continue to have positive momentum as we move toward 2016, a leading indicator that the overall economy will continue to grow as well.”

In comments to USA Today, McCormick pointed out that economic issues in other countries, such as the rejection of austerity measures in Greece, can have an impact on the U.S.

“When people see Greece in the headlines, it does make everyone pause,” McCormick said. “All the economies are so inextricably linked, and the time it takes for something in another part of the world to affect our economy is so fast … Those worries do cause some degree of cautiousness.”

On the other hand, if you want to travel to Greece for a vacation, now might be the right time. McCormick noted in a blog post earlier this week that Greece’s precarious financial situation could make make the country more affordable for international travelers.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

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

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!