Business Travel is Major Driver of Jobs and GDP Growth in Canada

GBTA Conference 2015 Toronto wraps up today after three days of networking, education and discussion on key industry issues and trends. One of today’s highlights was a general session presentation from GBTA’s VP of Research Joe Bates talking about the economic impact of business travel on the Canadian economy.

Richard Blackwell of The Globe and Mail ran a great story today covering the study highlights and the continued importance of face-to-face meetings.

The report, The Canadian Business Travel Industry: Business Travel’s Impact on Jobs and the Canadian Economy, is sponsored by Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) and showed that business travel spending in Canada in 2013 reached $23.5 billion making it responsible for 1.5 percent of Canadian GDP. Business travel drives business growth and nothing can replace face-to-face interactions when it comes to getting business done.

By the Numbers – Here are five key takeaways:

  • The impact study found businesses sent travellers on the road for 35.8 million trips and the business travel industry supports 434,000 jobs, $16.9 billion in wages and salaries and generates $8.6 billion in taxes.
  • Business travel in Canada contributed $27.2 billion in Canadian GDP – essentially every dollar spent on business travel generated about $1.16 in GDP.


  • In 2013, business travellers in Canada spent an average of $656 per trip including $131 on lodging, $75 on airfare, $12 on rental cars, $100 on food and beverage in restaurants and $8 on entertainment.
  • More than 60 per cent of all business trips in Canada were either to or within Ontario or Quebec with Toronto and Montreal leading the way as the two most popular destination markets within those provinces. The next most popular destination in 2013 was Alberta followed by British Columbia.


  • Of the 2.6 million international inbound trips to Canada more than three-quarters of those travellers arrived from the United States.


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