GBTA: Europe Business Travel Improves

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has announced the results of its latest GBTA BTI Outlook report on Western Europe — a semi-annual analysis of the five most critical business travel markets in Europe: Germany, the U.K., France, Italy and Spain.

These five markets together form nearly 70% of business travel in this region and act as a good barometer of the health of the entire European business travel market, says GBTA. Sponsored by Visa Inc., the report includes the GBTA BTI — an index of business travel spending that distills market performance over a period of time.

According to the GBTA, key highlights of the report include:

  • Among the five markets, business travel spending is expected to hit $183 billion (144.7 billion euros) or 3.3% growth over 2013. This projected gain would be the largest in Western Europe since the Great Recession.
  • Germany remains the largest business travel market in Europe reaching $50.5 billion in 2012. This is expected to increase 5% in 2013 to $53 billion.
  • The U.K. has the second highest level of spending on business travel in Western Europe — $40.6 billion in 2012 – and is expected to advance 1.6% in 2013 to $41.3 billion.
  • Spain, Italy and France will all see their business travel markets contract in 2013 by -6.7%, -3.9% and -2.3% respectively.
  • In 2013, domestic business travel will fare better than international outbound in all five markets, except for the U.K.


“After six consecutive quarters of decline, Europe has finally turned the corner,” said Catherine McGavock, GBTA’s regional director for Europe. “Challenges remain, but we cannot ignore the economic progress that has been made and the impact that this will have on both domestic and international travel across Western Europe. Next year, we can expect to see the largest annual growth in business travel spending in more than six years.”

“The upsurge in business travel spending, as noted by the BTI, reinforces the fact that the Western Europe economy is stabilizing,” said Tad Fordyce, head of global commercial solutions at Visa Inc. “Although the recession took a toll on these markets, we are very optimistic this upward movement will continue the momentum into 2014.”

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