A Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) report found that U.S. business travel spending ended the year at $292.2 billion.
The projection for 2015 also remains strong — U.S. business travel spending is expected to increase 6.2% to $310.2 billion, according to the GBTA BTI Outlook – United States 2014 Q4, which is sponsored by Visa Inc. Additionally, total person-trip volume is projected to increase 1.7% to 490.4 million trips for 2015.
In 2015, lower oil prices are expected to lead to increased consumer spending, boosting economic projects. This strong domestic economic news comes despite an overall weak global economic outlook, with trouble in Europe, Asia and Russia, according to the GBTA.
“2014 was a stabilizing year for U.S. business travel, with continuous, sustained growth, despite a plethora of external issues internationally that have weighted down economies in Europe, Russia and Asia,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and chief operating officer. “This is a significant and encouraging sign of confidence in the strength of the U.S. economy.”
According to the GBTA report, other key findings include:
- An estimated 482.4 million trips were taken in 2014, representing a 1.4% growth over 2013 and higher expectations than the previous quarter.
- During Q3, an estimated 121 million trips were taken, spending $73.8 billion. This represents a 1.6% increase in volume and 6.5% increase in spending.
- 2014 proved to be a comeback year for international outbound business travel, growing 6% in volume year-over-year, after falling 1% in 2012 and rising only 1.1% in 2013. This gain in volume amounts to an estimated $35.6 billion for 2014, a growth of 8.9% year-over-year.
- Transient volume performed well in 2014, with an estimated 298.6 million trips taken, representing growth of 3.5% year-over-year.
“With U.S. business travel spending forecast to hit record levels in 2015, corporate travel managers have more need to improve business travel expense reporting and tracking,” said Tad Fordyce, SVP, global commercial solutions, Visa Inc. “Visa helps corporate clients manage and improve business travel reconciliation through reporting and automated solutions.”