by Michael J. Shapiro | February 23, 2011

Every $1 that U.S. companies strategically invested in business travel resulted in an average of approximately $20 in additional gross profit in 2009, according to a report released last week by American Express Business Travel and the Global Business Travel Association. The study, "ROI Refresh: Travel as a Competitive Advantage," was based on a model developed in partnership with consultants Vantage Strategies for research the companies began in 2009. The new report, which is based on sales data for 900 public companies, determines that an additional $13 billion expenditure on travel in 2009 would have meant more than $915 billion in additional sales. This represents the ideal balance between travel and sales, the report concludes, and can be reached by spending an average of 4 percent more on travel. Broken down, that translates to just $70 more per worker. The report further analyzes the travel/spend relationship based on industry, company size and other factors. Subscribers to Amex eXpert insights can find the report at and GBTA members can download it at