Biz travel be­gins to surge

Travel Daily - - News -

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.

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