July 8, 2014
Business travel is picking up this year, with companies spending money on group meetings and sending more workers overseas, says a new report by the Global Business Travel Association.
As USA Today reports, the number of business trips for U.S. companies rose nearly 3 percent in the first three months of 2014, compared to the same period last year. Companies in the United States are expected to spend $292.3 billion on business travel this year, 6.8 percent more than in 2013.
A major reason for the growth has been an increase in the amount that businesses are spending on group meetings or conventions, with a 7.1 percent jump expected for such travel compared to last year. The report predicts that the price of business travel will increase by about 2 percent, citing the rising costs of food, rental cars and hotel rooms. Amid a series of airline mergers, fares might rise in 2015 because of shrinking competition and carriers matching their supply of flights and seats to passenger demand.
Business trips abroad are predicted to grow by 6.6 percent this year, with spending up 10.3 percent over last year.
Says Mike McCormick, executive director and COO of the Global Business Travel Association, “When you’re doing business in a global economy, nothing replaces face-to-face.” — Greg Beaubien