by Michael J. Shapiro | April 15, 2015
Business travel spending in the United States is expected to rise by 3.1 percent in 2015, year-over-year, to a total of $295.7 billion, according to a new report from the Global Business Travel Association. The total is down slightly from that which was forecast last quarter, due to the lower-than-expected travel prices. According to GBTA's "BTI Outlook – United States 2015 Q1," travel prices are now expected to rise by just 1.4 percent this year, kept modest by the lower cost of fuel. Predicted travel volume, however, is expected to rise at a faster clip than previously forecast, going up by 1.7 percent in 2015, to 492.1 million trips. “The expected increase in U.S. business travel volume is an excellent indicator of how the overall domestic economy is faring, with every sector and consumer spending performing better than we’ve seen since 2009," said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. "Thanks to a healthier domestic economy and a stronger U.S. dollar, companies are putting more travelers on the road not only because they can afford to, but because they continue to see a strong return on their business travel investment.” The report also calls for a rebound in group travel volume: After falling 1.9 percent in 2014, group volume is expected to increase by 1.6 percent this year and surge another 2.5 percent in 2016. Spend per group business trip is on the rise, too, increasing to $700 last year after having dropped to $660 in 2013.