That seat next to you on the plane is going to remain occupied…and you’ll be paying more for hotel and rental cars.
U.S. business travel is likely to show steady growth over the next two years, and the cost of that travel will continue to increase as well according to the latest projection from the Global Business Travel Association Foundation in a study sponsored by Visa.
GBTA’s latest Outlook report says that U.S. business travel spending is expected to increase by 3.2 percent this year, to $299.9 billion; and another 3.5 percent in 2017, to $310.4 billion.
Much of that increase will be accounted for by higher prices for business travel services, GBTA said — a 2.6 percent increase overall in 2016 and 3.0 percent in 2017. Here’s its outlook for price changes in various sectors this year:
“Over the next two years, U.S. business travel spending will grow at just above 3 percent, but this is largely driven by price, not transaction level increases,” said GBTA executive director Michael McCormick. “In this environment of modest transaction growth, low inflation levels and global uncertainty – we can expect continued consolidation in the business travel industry.”
The group noted that price increases for business travel have been at “historically low levels” through 2015, and the increases over the next two years represent a return to normal trends.
Business travel to international destinations “will continue to face challenges from poor global macroeconomic fundamentals,” GBTA said — especially to the Asia-Pacific region, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.
Average spending on group travel (conferences, trade shows, training, etc.) declined slightly last year, from $700 to $694 per trip, the group said, but the volume of group travel is expected to grow by 3 percent over the next two years. The volume of individual business trips only increased fractionally last year, GBTA said, but it is expected to grow by 2.9 percent this year.
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