U.S. Business Travel Spending Hits $72B in Q2

Graph via GBTA.
Graph via GBTA.

A Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) forecast has found that business travelers spent an estimated $72.8 billion on U.S.-originated business travel during the second quarter of 2014, a 7.1% year-over-year growth.

In total, U.S.-generated business travel spending is expected to increase by 6.8% to $292.3 billion in 2014, according to the GBTA BTI Outlook – United States 2014 Q3, which is sponsored by Visa, Inc.

“The continued strong demand in business travel spending is a positive sign for our economy — this signals that companies are continuing to put travelers on the road to achieve their business objectives,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “As always, business travel spending is a leading indicator of overall economic growth.”

According to the GBTA report, other key findings include:

  • While individual business travel volume is only expected to grow 2.3% in 2014, spending is expected to increase 7% year-over-year, driven by higher travel prices and additional spend-per-trip.
  • Similar to individual business travel, group travel spending is expected to disproportionately increase over volume, increasing 5.9% year-over-year in spend while simultaneously declining 3.3% in volume.
  • Travel costs are expected to increase 2.9% this year and an additional 3.5% in 2015, led by rising food and beverage costs, hotel prices and airfares. These expectations have been raised from the previous quarter, mainly due to increasingly higher food and beverage costs and airfare.

“With both business travel volume and travel costs forecast to rise in 2015, corporate travel programs are looking for ways to manage expenses and help improve their bottom line,” said Tad Fordyce, senior vice president, global commercial solutions, Visa Inc.

In addition, the study identified other trends that could impact business travel in the coming months, including household and business sentiment, international outbound business travel and inflation concerns, says GBTA.

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