Government travel in the month of January was down sharply from the previous year, according to insights from Guidepoint's new Qsight corporate travel data product.
The drop may be broadly attributed to the partial government shutdown that affected one quarter of the federal government across nine executive departments.
January rental car bookings were most affected by the lapse in funding, experiencing a 53.4% drop in transactions from the previous year. Airline and hotel reservations were also down 45.0% and 35.6%, respectively.
Overall, public sector travel experienced the largest year-over-year decrease in spend of any of the 34 economic sectors tracked.
According to Guidepoint Qsight data, among economic sectors, government travel accounted for 13.1% of rental car, 8.3% of airline, and 8.3% of hotel bookings through 2017 and 2018. These numbers fell to 6.7%, 4.4%, and 5.2%, respectively, in the month of January 2019.
Given the potential for future government shutdowns, uncertainty in spending on public sector travel will continue through 2019. However, near-real time views into federal agency bookings will help mitigate risks for investors with positions in the travel market. The Guidepoint Qsight corporate travel dataset encompasses a wealth of information on government travel, as well as temporal trends in industries, geographies, pricing and market share. In an unpredictable market, accurate and reliable data are key components of an informed investment.