July 17, 2013

An economy on the mend lifts corporate travel

Business travelers in the United States will spend about $273.3 billion on the road in 2013, a 4.3 percent increase over last year and a reflection of stronger growth in domestic travel as the national economy stabilizes, according to the Global Business Travel Association.

Of that 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 trade group says in a report preceding its annual convention, which will be held early next month in San Diego.

No matter how you parse it, that’s a whole lot of spending for corporate travel managers and individual business travelers to evaluate and track. Another report is coming out this week, from Concur, the travel expense management company, that seeks to “shine a bright light on a big chunk of data” for business travel spending, said Robson Grieve, executive vice president for marketing.

An early look at the Concur study revealed, which examined individual travel expense accounts totaling $50 billion at 18,000 corporate clients last year. Among the findings I found most interesting: Travelers at small and midsize companies on average spent significantly more in every expense category — hotels, airfares, dining and entertainment — than those at large corporations.

Get the full story at The New York Times