U.S. business travel record levels in 2014, closing the year with an estimated 482.4 million trips that generated an estimated $292.2 billion in business travel spending, according to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), which today released its latest business travel forecast, the "GBTA BTI Outlook - United States 2015."
Based on 2014 results, the forecast predicts another record year for business travel in 2015: Overall, GBTA expects, U.S.-generated business travel spending will increase 6.2 percent this year, to $310.2 billion. Total trip volume, meanwhile, will increase 1.7 percent to 490.4 million trips.
"2014 was a stabilizing year for U.S. business travel, with continuous, sustained growth, despite a plethora of external issues internationally that have weighted down economies in Europe, Russia, and Asia," GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick said in a statement. "This is a significant and encouraging sign of confidence in the strength of the U.S. economy."
Despite record gains, 2014 group travel is expected to show a slight decline, although an increase is expected this year.
"Group trip volume will likely finish down 2.2 percent year-over-year, stabilizing after extraordinary growth in 2013. Group spend-per-trip, however, is on pace to rise to $715 in 2014, up from $660 in 2013," GBTA reported. "Both volume and spending are expected to rise in 2015 by 1.5 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively."