Today, GBTA released our latest GBTA BTI™ Outlook – Western Europe report, a semi-annual analysis of the five most critical business travel markets in Europe: Germany, the UK, France, Italy and Spain. These five markets together form the lion’s share of business travel in the region acting as a good barometer of the health of the entire European business travel market.
Things are looking up for the region. For the first time since 2010, we are projecting increases in business travel spend in all five markets. This is a big step. While the North – South divide still exists, and Germany and the UK will again lead the way in business travel spending for the rest of the region, France, Italy and Spain now appear to be showing solid signs of recovery.
In what will be a transition year for the European economy, business travel spending is expected to grow 5.1 percent in 2014 followed by an additional 6.5 percent increase in 2015 reaching $198.6 billion USD. Finally, it appears that the 2012-2013 recession is over and Europe’s economy is on more solid ground. Of course there are still risks to the recovery including the sovereign debt crisis, oil prices and emerging markets currency risk, but with rising GDP, improving corporate profits and increasing business confidence things are looking up for business travel growth.