The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) released on Sept. 20 the results of its second GBTA BTI Outlook – Western Europe report, a semi-annual analysis of the five most critical business travel markets in Europe, including Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain.
The GBTA BTI Outlook for Western Europe found that domestic business travel spending tends to lead job gains by about one quarter among all five European countries.
While Germany has succeeded in bringing down unemployment since the recession, Spain’s unemployment rate has risen to nearly 25%, Greece’s is at 22% and Portugal’s at 15%, the GBTA report states. France and the UK are not expected to make progress on unemployment until 2014 or beyond.
Business Travel Spend Outlook by Country
- GBTA forecasts German business travel spending to grow by 1.6% in 2012 to $50.8 billion and 3.3% in 2013 to $52.5 billion. Its domestic business travel spending will grow an estimated 2.8% in 2011, but international outbound spending in Germany will decline -3.0% in 2012.
- The UK has the second highest level of spending on business travel in Western Europe with $40.2 billion in 2011. However, the report predicts total spending on business travel in the UK to remain flat in 2012. International outbound travel from the UK will fall -3.1% and domestic business travel spending will grow 1.6%.
- Business travel spend in France is expected to suffer a loss of -2.2% in 2012 with total spending on business travel falling to $35.7 billion. It should grow an estimated 1.1% to $36.1 billion
- GBTA expects spending on Spanish business travel will decrease by -7.8% in 2012, falling to $17.9 billion due to a weak domestic economy.
- In Italy, much like Spain, the GBTA predicts business travel spend losses of -6.9% in 2012, followed by -1.2% in 2013.
“Europe has unfolded pretty much as we expected in our inaugural Spring 2012 report,” said Paul Tilstone, managing director of GBTA Europe. “However, as a result of weaker first-half prospects in Spain, Italy, France and the UK, our 2012 GDP growth expectation for the entire Euro Area has been downgraded slightly in the Fall report to -0.4%, from -0.3%. The GBTA’s fall report therefore remains cautious, with overall business travel spend forecast to increase by 1.4% in Western Europe in 2013.”
The GBTA BTI Outlook projects aggregate business travel trends over the next eight quarters. The report tracks business travel spending in total and by domestic and outbound segments. It relates unfolding economic events at home and abroad to their resulting impacts on Europe’s business travel market.
The model explicitly relates measures of business travel spending, uniquely sourced from other GBTA Foundation research, to key economic and market drivers of business travel including: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and its components; employment and unemployment; measures of business and consumer confidence; international trade, foreign direct investment and exchange rates; commodity and oil prices; inflation measures; productivity rates for business travel; International Air Transport Association (IATA) Passenger and Revenue Performance and Smith Travel Research (STR) Global Hotel Performance.