Report Shows Lackluster Business Travel Spending

A report by the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) shows that spending on global business travel fell 8.8 percent in 2009, the greatest decline since 9/11.

Though the past has shown a drop off, the forecast bears for brighter days as the global economy revamps. The same report projected global business travel spending to reach $896 billion dollars this year and to grow to $1.2 trillion by 2014.

Air travel this summer has already been on the rise, which bodes for fares to rise proportionally.

The revitalization, according to the report, will be a bumpy one and analysts from the report say travel managers and suppliers will be kept on their toes.

One of the main reasons for the unsteady rise is that the recovery is not projected to be uniform across the globe. Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East are expected to grow more rapidly than North America and Europe. For example, growth for the United States between now and 2014 is projected at 2.4 percent. In the same timeframe, growth for China is predicted at 12.3 percent.

Another cause for the turbulent travel forecast is the restructuring of the main business travel sectors, which is in order because different industries have been affected by the Great Recession in different ways. For example, traveling for the utilities sector, which is one of the largest business travel contributors, fell by 14 percent last year. However, it is slated for a quick rebound in 2010.

By contrast, real estate, one of the main contributors to the global recession, will continue to drag and continue to put a strain on the business-travel recovery.

The nature in which revenues are being generated is changing as well. The traditional means of revenue generation—airfare—is supplemented by a cavalcade of alternative streams, as airlines now charge for everything from checked baggage to exit seats.