An organization called the Global Business Travel Association reports U.S. business travel has shown “moderate but steady growth” over the past year and may reach pre-recession levels by this summer.
Business Travelers: Doing More on the Road
One of the more notable findings of the report is that over the past decade, road warriors have made fewer trips, but they’ve spent more money on them. No, business people haven’t suddenly reverted to the over-the-top “Mad Men”-type wining and dining – the larger payouts are due to rising prices – especially airfare – but also because business trips last longer than they used to.
According to GBTA’s Michael McCormick, business travelers do more in their time away from the home office, adding, “The productivity explosion is a huge factor and it’s being brought on by better travel management, better technology and making the most of their time on their road.”
International Travel: Troubling
One not-so-bright spot was international business travel. While outbound flights from the U.S. were up just over 3 percent last year, flights out of Europe and Asia soared more than 8 percent over the 2010, but that growth rate is expected to fall sharply this year due to weakened demand.
Already this year, a number of business class discounts have been offered on flights to Europe – this may be a big year for more such sales.