A leading travel industry forecast finds U.S.-originated business travel grew nearly 3% year-over-year, with company spending for business travelers increasing 7.6% to $71.2 billion during 2014 Q1 / the first quarter of 2014. This indicates rising management confidence in the economic recovery, which tends to accompany increased travel budgets and fewer travel restrictions. Overall, U.S.-generated business travel spending is expected to increase 6.8% to $292.3 billion in 2014.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) –the voice of the global business travel industry – reaffirmed its positive forecast of the U.S. business travel industry with the release of the GBTA BTI™ Outlook – United States 2014 Q2, sponsored by Visa, Inc. The report highlights the important relationship of business travel to overall U.S. economic growth.
“Business travel spending in the U.S. supports 7.1 million jobs,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “We continue to see a correlation: growth in business travel is intrinsically linked to jobs development and ultimately growth in the U.S. economy.”
The report’s other key findings include:
- The total number of domestic person business trips in 2013 was revised upward to 468.8 million from the previously reported 448.7 million, resulting in a 4.7% year-to-year gain. Spending remained consistent with the previous forecast at $241 billion, indicating a lower-than-estimated spend per trip.
- Group business travel significantly outperformed individual business travel in 2013, growing 8.6%, a significant indicator that the business travel industry is recovering from the Great Recession and increasing discretionary spending.
- While individual business travel volume is only expected to grow 2.3% in 2014, spending is expected to increase 5.6%, driven by higher prices and additional spend-per-trip.
“Electronic payments play an integral role in the U.S. business landscape, allowing Visa to help companies and business travelers understand and react to the ever-changing business travel market,” said Tad Fordyce, SVP and head of Global Commercial Solutions, Visa Inc. “The expected growth outlined in the GBTA BTI™ means for exciting times not only in the business travel market but for our country’s economy as well, and will allow Visa along with GBTA, to continue to create best-in-class solutions for our financial institution customers and their clients.”