The Global Business Travel Association increased its outlook
for U.S. business travel spending this year, thanks in part to stronger projections
for domestic business travel.
GBTA projects total U.S. business travel spending this year
will reach $273.3 billion, 4.3 percent higher than last year's level and up
from its April 2013 projection of $268.5 billion. GBTA executive director and
COO Michael McCormick noted a "rise in domestic travel spending" as "companies
are seizing on opportunities closer to home." At the same time, due to
weaker economies in Europe and China, the organization lowered its projection
for international outbound travel spending from the United States to $33.1
billion from $33.3 billion in the April forecast. The new figure still represents
a 3 percent increase from 2012 levels.
While travel cost increases are driving much of the higher
spending forecasts, GBTA projected that 2013 U.S. spending per business trip would
increase by 1.3 percent year over year after accounting for price inflation.
However, GBTA projected the actual number of 2013 trips taken by U.S. business
travelers to decline 0.4 percent year over year, however. Similarly, the
organization projects the number of U.S. trips for group business travel to
decline 0.3 percent this year, but group travel spending to be up 5.3 percent
to $117.1 billion.
GBTA said spending increases should continue in 2014, with
U.S. business travel spending to increase 6.9 percent year over year, and the
number of trips to increase 1.5 percent.