US Business Travel A $300B Market In 2016

United States business travel will see a stabilized growth rate over the next two years, with that growth coming even in the face of hurdles from the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Latin American regions.

The projections come from a Global Business Travel Association report titled “GBTA BTI Outlook — United States 2015 Q4,” sponsored by Visa.

The forecast is predicated on the fact that the U.S. economy has returned to levels seen before the Great Recession and has done so without the same dangers in place that were fueled by speculation in those years. That means that travel spending could grow at rates of 3.2 percent in 2016 and 3.5 percent the next year, which would take total spending to $299.9 billion and $310.4 billion, respectively.

The organization said that inflation specific to the travel industry has been tame with a stronger dollar in place and that sinking energy prices have also hampered inflation. As noted by GBTA, price growth was at its lowest this past year than at any point since the recession. That stagnation should end as price growth will likely be 2.6 percent this year and 3 percent next year. Price growth specific to airfare, said GBTA, will be notably absent, but other fees may boost the total segment.

[bctt tweet=”The organization said that inflation specific to the travel industry has been tame.”]

Business travel to international ports of call will still be stymied by global macro-concerns, a trend that will continue, at least as pertains to the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific areas.

For business travel centered on groups, average spending may have dipped slightly in 2015 from the previous year, to $694 per group from $700, but volume growth will accelerate going forward, said the report. Individual business travel spending should grow just under 5 percent this year and slow to 2.4 percent growth the year after.