Business travel increasing through 2014

Posted on Aug 15, 2014

In the first quarter of 2014, U.S. business travel spending had increased by 7.6 percent to $71.2 billion, and this year's overall spending is expected to grow to $292.3 billion, which would equal a 6.8 percent growth from last year, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) reported.

In the first quarter of 2014 US business travel spending had increased by 76 percent to 712 billion

Michael W. McCormick, chief operating officer and executive director of GBTA, explained that with the increase in business travel, more travel on the road and in the air takes place, which will boost revenue for restaurants, airports, car rental agencies and hotels.

"Business travel spending in the U.S. supports 7.1 million jobs," said McCormick, in an official press release. "We continue to see a correlation: growth in business travel is intrinsically linked to jobs development and ultimately growth in the U.S. economy."

Corporate spending on the rise

With corporate travel increasing in the U.S., the economy is seeing more money being spent from businesses in different cities. Tad Fordyce, the senior vice president and head of global commerce solutions at Visa, explained that with more corporate travelers on the move, the GBTA BTI (business travel index), is estimated to increase from Q1 2014 to Q2.

"The expected growth outlined in the GBTA BTI means for exciting times not only in the business travel market, but for our country's economy as well," said Fordyce.

Travel agencies remain relevant

Quick Internet travel booking agencies such as Hotwire and Expedia were expected to be the downfall of travel agencies. However, traditional travel agencies are staying relevant as an expert opinion on travel destinations and hotel accommodations, USA Today reported.

"There's a reason that travel agents are still the largest channel for airline, hotel, cruise and car companies," said Zane Kerby, president and CEO of the American Society of Travel Agents, according to the source. "We provide valuable guidance, expertise and personal touch to the traveling public."

While technology makes it easier to book online, the security issue is still a main factor for businesses sending corporate travelers to other cities or even countries. Additionally, businesses sending corporate travelers abroad are constantly looking for more ways to keep in touch with their employees in case of an emergency.

"I think even though online continues to grow, there will always be demand for that personal level of service for certain segments of the traveling population," said Adam Weissenberg, vice chairman of Deloitte's U.S. Travel.

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