BTN Editor Elizabeth West moderates Liberty Mutual’s Michelle DeCosta, ACT’s Jennifer Steinke and Roadmap’s Jeroen van Velzen
The Global Business Travel Association's latest projections
for U.S. business travel include a 5.1 percent increase in spending this year
versus last year, higher than the 4.6 percent 2013 growth forecast by the group
in its January report. Covering domestic U.S. and outbound international
travel, GBTA's newer forecast also calls for a 1.1 percent decline in the
number of business travel trips, the same annual change as previously
According to GBTA, total U.S. business travel spending in
2012 increased 1.8 percent year over year on 1.8 percent fewer trips. Now, an "improving
economic outlook" has led to the higher growth forecast for this year.
After dropping 1.9 percent in 2012 as a result of general corporate
spending reductions, according to GBTA, transient business travel trip volume
now is expected to fall another 1.3 percent in 2013. Transient spending growth,
however, now is expected to increase 4.5 percent in 2013, up from the 2.2 percent
growth rate reported for last year.
Meanwhile, GBTA now expects group travel trip volume to drop
1.1 percent this year following a 1.7 percent reduction in 2012. GBTA forecast 6
percent growth for 2013 group travel spending this year, well ahead of the 1.6
percent growth measured for 2012.
continued political uncertainty in the U.S. and around the world, businesses
are beginning to break out of their holding pattern and seek growth more
aggressively," according to comments attributed to GBTA executive director
Michael McCormick. "While there are still many factors that could hamper
the economy again, from the impact of sequestration to rising energy prices,
business travel spending is heading in the right direction so far in 2013."
The 1.1 percent projected decline in 2013 total trip volume
equates to about 100,000 fewer business trips this year, according to GBTA. But
for 2014, the association expects the number of trips to rise by 1.4 percent.
Total spending growth next year is forecast to accelerate to 7 percent.
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