US Business Travel Industry Poised for Growth in 2016, Says GBTA

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For those in the business travel industry, 2015 wasn’t exactly a banner year, but it wasn’t one to shake our heads over, either. However, at the start of 2016, those in the industry find themselves hoping for a little more promise than last year delivered on. And according to the latest study released by the Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) education and research arm, the GBTA Foundation, business travel buyers and suppliers will get their wish.

While the study cautions that no growth explosion is predicted for the coming year, business travel in the US will grow at stable, steady rates. Overall, the portrait the report creates of the near future of business travel is favorable.

Business Travel Inflation: Business travel inflation dropped in 2015, and saw its lowest price growth in recent years this past year. This left it at historically low levels, due to the growing strength of the dollar and rapidly dropping oil prices. The GBTA Foundation reports that this trend will cease in the coming year, and that price growth will return to normal in 2016 and 2017.

US Market Will See Strongest Growth: The growth trend will not happen worldwide, says the GBTA Foundation. International travel will feel challenges due to economic struggles in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific, all of which weighed down growth in 2015. North American and Western Europe’s economics were stable, however, and the report states that this trend will continue in 2016.

US travel, however, will grow. The rate of growth will be small, cautions the GBTA Foundation, but steady: 3.2 percent (299.9 billion) in 2015 and 3.5 ($310.4 billion) percent in 2017.

Group Travel vs. Individual Travel: Group business travel did slightly better than individual travel activity in 2015, says the GBTA Foundation. In 2015, individual travel only grew at a tiny .4 percent, but the study predicts that it will make a comeback in 2016.

Price-Driven Growth: The travel industry’s steady growth in 2015 will be mostly driven by price, not transaction level increases. Out of six major categories, only airfare will decrease in price, while Lodging, food and beverage, ground, rental cars and “other” travel categories are all poised to grow at anywhere between 2 and 5.2 percent, with rental cars and lodging being the sectors poised for the highest growth. Ground transportation (like limo service in Denver) falls in the middle, at 2.6 percent.

As a luxury chauffeur service, we’re pleased to hear know the industry is posed to continue to expand in 2016, and we’re looking forward another successful year. Keep up with travel industry news and changes by visiting our blog at http://www.empirecls.com/blog .

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