A July 15, 2013 article in The New York Times says that travelers in the United States will spend about $273.3 billion on the road in 2013. That’s a 4.3 percent increase over last year, and a reflection of stronger growth in domestic travel as the national economy stabilizes.
Of the estimated $273.3 billion, about $117.1 billion will be spent on group travel — meetings and conventions, conferences, incentive trips and the like. And $33.1 billion will be spent in the United States on international travel. The information comes from a report that trade group Global Business Travel Association has released preceding its annual convention, which will be held early August in San Diego.
According to a recent study conducted by the National Business Travel Association and reported by Bloomberg, business travel spending should grow 5% in 2011. They credit both a growing economy and stronger corporate profits.
Business travel in 2010 grew 2.3% in 2010 according to NBTA estimates. We saw this impact anecdotally in our hotels that cater to business travelers, who started showing up again in stronger numbers in 2010. This factor helped fuel the nearly 16% revenue increase in 2010 at our Homewood Suites by Hilton (a great brand, by the way).
NTBA points out that international business travel rose a whopping 16.9% in 2010, fueled by export-driven commerce. That’s a huge gain, and it is an actual benefit of the weaker dollar. Let’s hope that the federal government someday sees the wisdom of promoting this valuable export as a way to grow the economy and ease our trade deficit.
I predict that NTBA is right about the coming 2011 increase in business travel. As its spokesman said in the article, “Companies are once again recognizing the value of face-to-face meetings … to build relationships.”
At Springwood, we build our business on relationships, because we believe that relationships drive not just our business, but all business. There is no better way to build them than face-to-face!