Increase in Business Travel Spending
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) reports that business travel spending and volume grew at stronger-than-expected rates in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The fourth quarter of 2010 showed the strongest seasonally adjusted quarter-over-quarter business travel growth since the downturn in the economy began. For the year, total U.S. spending on business travel grew by 3.2%: up substantially from the 2.3% for the year forecast previously. Business travel in 2011 is now expected to be even stronger than estimated last quarter, advancing by 6.9% for the year: up from the 5% growth forecast previously.
These are heartening signs, says GBTA. As corporate confidence increases, companies are investing more in business travel, which will help stimulate business activity and economic growth.
The GBTA Business Travel Index (BTI) provides a way to distill market performance and the outlook for business travel into a single metric that can be tracked over time. Initially forecast as 108 for the fourth quarter of 2010, the BTI has been revised upward to 112 for the quarter, its highest point since the start of the economic downturn in the third quarter of 2008.
This revision is equal to $1.9 billion more business travel spending than previously forecast. The increase of nine points over the third quarter 2010 BTI, which came in at 102, means there was a total $4.2 billion increase in business travel spending between the third quarter of 2010 and the fourth quarter of 2010.
With more business travelers hitting the road, travel prices are also recovering from their sharp declines during the economic downturn, according to GBTA data. Rate analysis based on an aggregate of airfare, lodging, meals, ground transportation, and car rentals shows travel prices in 2010 increased by 2.5% and are projected to increase between 2% and 4% for 2011.
For more information: http://www.gbta.org/foundation/pressreleases/Pages/rls041211.aspx
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