Global business travel spending will increase faster than previously forecasted this year, as advanced economies regain strength, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) said Monday.
Worldwide spending on business travel will increase 6.9% this year to a record $1.18 billion, up from the January forecast of 6.5%, according to GBTA.
an acceleration from a 4.5% spending increase in 2013, forecasted GBTA.
Business travel spending will accelerate further to an 8.6% growth rate next year, GBTA predicted.
“Emerging markets have been tested by a weaker external environment, debt imbalances, rising inflation and capital flight,” the GBTA wrote in its report, alluding to countries such as China, Turkey, India and Argentina. “Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has slowly gathered strength, Europe has emerged from recession, and other advanced economies are gradually accelerating.”
Despite China’s hiccups, the country is on track to overtake the U.S. as the world’s biggest spender on business travel in 2016. The country’s business travel spending has jumped nine-fold since 2000 to $225 billion.
The GBTA released its Global Annual Report & Forecast as part of its annual convention in Los Angeles this week.
___ Follow Danny King on Twitter @dktravelweekly.