Biz travel begins to surge
BUSINESS travel spending is set to surge by more than 7% this year as corporations worldwide emerge from an “era of uncertainty”, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has forecast in a new report.
The association has identified 2017 and 2018 as the strongest two-year period for business travel since the initial recovery from the global financial crisis at the start of the decade, and says 18 of the world’s top 20 business travel markets are expecting growth rates above the average of the past five years.
The annual GBTA BTI Outlook report says global business travel spending reached US$1.33 trillion in 2017, a 5.8% increase over the previous year.
It forecasts spending is likely to increase a further 7.1% in 2018 and reach a total annual spend of US$1.7 trillion by 2022.
However, the association also warns of potential negative impacts from political forces.
“This pick-up in growth could signify an end to the ‘era of uncertainty’ in global business travel, but rising protectionism is coming at precisely the wrong time,” said GBTA executive director Michael W McCormick.
“The direction of trade policy is far and away the biggest wild card that could impact our forecast for global business creating uncertainty that could derail the recovery,” he said.
The GBTA says India, Indonesia, Sweden, Norway & China are likely to show the highest growth.