Business Travel Rises to Highest Peak since Recession BeganApr 13th, 2011 | By Sue Gonzales | Category: Travel
Business travel returned to its highest level in the fourth quarter of 2010 since the recession began in 2008, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) announced Tuesday. Analysts viewed the development as a positive indicator for the general economy.
“These are very heartening signs,” said GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick. “Business travel spending is coming back at robust levels, indicating the shape of things to come–namely more travelers on the road, an improving economy, and a positive environment for continued job growth.”
As measured by the GBTA Business Travel Index, business travel spending increased $4.2 billion between the third quarter of 2010 and the fourth quarter of 2010. This represented the strongest growth since the recession began.
For the year, US business travel spending grew by 3.2 percent, which exceeded the previous forecast of 2.3 percent. Experts predict this will translate into 6.9 percent growth for 2011, instead of 5.0 percent as previously predicted.
International and group travel showed similar gains.
Analysts attribute the increase to stronger economic growth and the expectation of slightly inflated prices over the rest of the year. Economic gains have more business travelers on the move. The increased demand is driving travel prices back up from recessional declines. Travel prices increased by 2.5 percent in 2010, and are expected to grow 2.0 percent to 4.0 percent in 2011.
The GBTA’s findings were produced by an education and research arm sponsored by Visa.