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Report estimate: Business travel could see uptick in first quarter of 2014

Corporate travel saw a slight rise in 2013, and reports released by Global Business Travel Association projected business travel spending would rise by 7.2 percent in 2014 to $288.8 billion. Several businesses are increasing their total travel expenses, which means more company employees are in the air and working in other states or countries.

Amadeus, a corporate travel service, recently released its first quarter report for 2014, which revealed that, thus far, 125.5 million travel agency air bookings have been made through its company. The report also found the total amount of travelers in Q1 2014 was up by 5.3 percent from 2013.

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The numbers from Amadeus outperformed the total amount for the industry by 4.4 percent, which was directly related to the "positive impact of industry recovery." In North America specifically, Amadeus's total number of business flights increased by 17.6 percent, while Europe - which nearly accounts for half of their travel bookings - saw a 3 percent spike.

Winter didn't slow down business travel
While the freezing temperatures affected the majority of North America with the polar vortex and numerous heavy-hitting snow storms, business travel still saw a steady increase. According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), there was such a large spike in business travel in the first quarter of 2014, the organization altered its forecast from $288.8 billion to $293.3 billion.

The business travel increase is nearly 7 percent higher than what was originally estimated in 2013, and while the cold temperatures normally affect business travel, the industry remained resilient.

"As the spring thaw gets into full swing businesses are feeling more confident, with pent-up demand to get their employees back on the road," Michael W. McCormick, executive director and COO of GBTA​, said in an official statement.

The GBTA believes the increase in corporate travel correlates with the improving economic conditions and job growth in the U.S. The total amount of trips in the first quarter of 2014 is expected to be around 464.7 million trips, which would be a 2 percent increase from the previous quarter, the GBTA report cited.

"Business travel growth is a leading indicator of job growth, and we've seen this play out in previous quarters as the private sector has finally regained all of the jobs lost during the recession," McCormick added in the statement. "Today's forecast suggests that this measured but steady improvement should continue."

As the amount of corporate travelers grows, companies have to protect them with the right risk management software to ensure workers are safe while abroad.


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