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by Michael J. Shapiro | September 20, 2012

Overall business travel spend among major European markets will fall 2.2 percent this year, according to GBTA BTI Outlook–Western Europe, a semiannual report released Thursday by the Global Business Travel Association. The report examines the five most significant business travel markets in Europe — Germany, the U.K., France, Italy and Spain, which account for nearly 70 percent of business travel spend in Europe. While the forecast calls for business travel spend to drop to US$177 billion in 2012, business is expected to rebound by 1.4 percent in 2013. That said, Germany, which boasts the strongest business travel market, is expected to grow its spend by 1.6 percent this year, then increase by another 3.3 percent in 2013. "Europe has unfolded pretty much as we expected in our inaugural spring 2012 report," said GBTA Europe managing director Paul Tilstone. "However, as a result of weaker first-half prospects in Spain, Italy, France and the U.K., our 2012 GDP growth expectation for the entire Euro area has been downgraded slightly in the fall report." The 1.4 percent growth forecast for 2013, added Tilstone, is cautious due to lingering debt challenges and austerity measures. For more information about the report, see http://hub.gbta.org/resources2/view/profile/id/23024/vid/6. The full report is free for GBTA members and $499 for nonmembers.