Posted: December 4, 2014

US business travel industry expected to expand in 2015
Business trips are expected to rise next year.

Some business travelers are in the clouds more than they're on the ground. And that office-on-the-go culture represents a wider growth in the market: Both business travel volume and travel costs are forecasted to rise in 2015, according to an industry report from Global Business Travel Association. 

The report showed that work trip-goers spent an estimated $72.8 billion on U.S.-origninated business travel during the second quarter of 2014. This marks a 7.1 percent year-over-year growth. While the number of business trips taken in the second quarter of 2014 dipped slightly compared to years past, spending on business travel is soaring toward an all-time high. By the end of 2014, overall spending is expected to increase by 6.8 percent from last year, reaching a total spending figure of $292.3 billion.

Michael McCormick, the executive director of GBTA, said the increase in capital spent is a good sign for the economy.

"The continued strong demand in business travel spending is a positive sign for our economy – this signals that companies are continuing to put travelers on the road to achieve their business objectives," McCormick said in a news release. "As always, business travel spending is a leading indicator of overall economic growth."

What's more, like individual business travel, group travel spending is predicted to "disproportionately" increase over volume, surging 9.9 percent while dropping 3.3 percent in volume. Experts believe evolving meeting technology such as live web cams and other substitutes are the reason behind the loss of volume.

The unemployment rate continues to fall nationally. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment fell to 5.8 percent as of October 2014. More and more companies have the capital to spend sending employees on face-to-face meeting and in-person presentations. 

International Scale

As the U.S. economy gradually trudges back, the international market seems to be following suit. Global outbound business travel, which the report highlights as a key factor of the worldwide economic recovery, is expected to grow 6.5 percent in 2014. The reasons it's not accelerating at a faster rate include the struggling European recovery, economic challenges in emerging markets in Latin America and a moderating Chinese economy.

Trip-goers looking to sneak in cheaper flights on their company's dime can look into Latin American markets. Saving your business money could just mean more money for you in the form of a raise.

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