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January 15, 2014

GBTA Report: US Business Travel Spending to Increase in 2014




U.S. spending on international outbound business travel should jump a hefty 12.5 percent in 2014 to $36.7 billion, after just 1.8 percent growth in 2013 and only 0.8 percent expansion in 2012. This revival will be helped in particular by steady improvements in the Euro-zone, the U.S.’s largest trading partner. 


 
Overall, U.S. business travel spending is expected to advance 6.6 percent to $289.8 billion in 2014, while total person-trip volume is expected to increase 1.7 percent to 461 million trips for the year, according to the GBTA BTI Outlook – United States 2013 Q4, a report from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) sponsored by Visa, Inc.

At the close of 2013, annual U.S. business travel spending is estimated by GBTA to have grown 3.8 percent to $272 billion, on a slight -0.3 percent decline in trip volume to 453.3 million person-trips. Notably, despite the Federal government shutdown in 2013, the private sector delivered a stronger third quarter than expected, which boosted business travel spending.

The meetings business has been on an upward swing for the past two years and this trend should continue in 2014. GBTA expects group travel spending to rise by 6.5 percent to $124.5 billion based on a volume increase of 1.7 percent.

The GBTA BTI, a proprietary index of business travel activity, is estimated at 128 for Q4 2013 and 130 for Q1 2014. The BTI regained its pre-recession peak of 120 in the first quarter of 2012, but muddled through a sluggish 2012 and beginning of 2013. However, with economic momentum increasing, the BTI is now projected to reach 136 by the end of 2014.


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