U.S business travel is expected to continue its surge in 2014 despite a record-breaking, seemingly endless winter where the effects of the polar vortex and multiple snowstorms halted travel across much of the country. Despite all of this, for the second quarter in a row, we are increasing our business travel spending forecast for this year in our latest report just released yesterday.
The latest forecast projects U.S. business travel spending to rise 7.1 percent in 2014 to $293.3 billion and total person-trip volume to increase 2 percent to 464.7 million trips.
What is driving this growth?
Healthy corporate profits, rising management confidence and increased job development are all behind it – a very positive sign for the U.S. economy. Business travel growth is a leading indicator of job growth and the private sector has finally regained all of the jobs lost during the recession. Of course, this doesn’t mean all of the same level jobs are back, but today’s forecast suggests this steady improvement should continue.
Strong investment in international outbound travel spending will also fuel the forecast upgrade with expectations for a 12.9 percent increase up to $37.2 billion. GBTA’s outlook for group travel was also revised upward to increase 7 percent in 2014 to $126 billion.
The spring thaw is in full swing and so are U.S. businesses, confidently investing in business travel in 2014.