Business Travel on the Up in 2013

In their latest forecast, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), a U.S.-based trade body, has found that so-called "pent-up demand" will mean rising growth rates in business travel spending throughout the year.


But a higher spend - the 2013 total is expected to rise by 4.6 per cent as opposed to the meagre 1.6 per cent growth last year - doesn't mean an increase in actual business travel.


GBTA projects a 1.1 percent decline in the actual number of people taking business trips – the excess is made up from rising expenses for each individual trip. A recent study of business travellers found that more felt that the cost of air and lodging, rather than the volume of flights and rooms, would increase this year.


Of the 2,101 travel managers polled by AirPlus, 64 percent said that they thought the total number of business trips would stay the same in 2013 while 28 percent thought that the travel itself would increase.


GBTA says the numbers can still be seen as an early indication of greater corporate confidence.


Michael W. McCormick, the GBTA executive director, commented, "While companies will approach the first half of the year with some caution, pent-up demand to get back on the road should hopefully fuel accelerating growth in business travel spending through the end of 2013."