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Business Travel Expected To Rebound

By Expert Author: Steve Robinson

A slowly improving economy, as well as a ready supply of cheap travel options, including cheap airplane tickets and discount hotel rooms, is expected to contribute to spending on business travel increasing next year.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is projecting that spending on business travel will experience a healthy increase in 2014. However the partial shutdown of the federal government is having a negative impact on the economy and could lessen the projected increase.

U.S. business travel is forecast to increase slightly more than 7 percent next year, to almost $289 billion, with the number of trips rising a little less than 2 percent to 459 million.

Forty percent of the members of this Association said that the government shutdown has negatively affected them, their business, or their workers. 57 percent of that group noted that the business travel industry have been adversely impacted as a result of cancelled meetings or business opportunities in the U.S.

GBTA continues to expect a growing U.S. economy, consistent profits, and increasing investments, will all contribute to companies spending more on trips next year.

Travel abroad is expected to be even stronger. Spending on business trips outside the U.S. is estimated to grow by over 12 percent to almost $37 billion in 2013. This compares very favorably to the modest increase of less than 2 percent in 2013.

Another key reason for the forecasted rebound in traveling is the expected rise of spending on group travel, including off site meetings of employees and industry conventions. Spending here is predicted to go up by over 7 percent to $124 billion in 2014.

Future increases in overall spending on travel are largely based on U.S. companies being profitable and sitting on excess cash. Business travel activity is stimulated when the economic conditions appear to be conducive to exploiting new business opportunities.
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