US business travel spend to surge in 2014

Overseas markets to “see growing percentage of US traffic”

Growth in business traveller numbers in 2014 is expected to boost total US business travel spending by 7.2% to $288.8 billion, the Global Business Travel Association reports – despite the effects of the government shutdown on corporate travel.

The number of business trips is forecast to rise 1.6% next year to 459.2 million, while spending on international corporate travel should grow by 12.4% to $36.6 billion.

GBTA BTI Outlook – United States, sponsored by Visa, Inc., forecasts that US business travel spending will reverse a 2013 decline in trip volume.

However, another GBTA survey of around 250 business travel professionals finds that exactly two-thirds of respondents are concerned that their business will be negatively impacted by a shutdown longer than one week.

“The business travel industry is a key driver of the US economy, and business travel is looking at a strong rebound year in 2014,” said Michael W McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO.

“If we can keep our economy on track we should see robust international outbound growth, and emerging markets in regions like Latin America, Asia and the Middle East should see a growing percentage of US traffic. The outlook for meetings is also a positive sign, because these are longer-lead spending decisions that businesses only make if they’re feeling more confident about the direction of the economy and their own growth prospects.”

USA Today

[pictured: Emirates Executive; photo courtesy Emirates]