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US Business Travel Industry Will See Steady Growth, Study Finds

There is a modicum of good news on the business travel front as a research study finds that all is well in this corner of the travel industry for the foreseeable future.

The news comes thanks to research from GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), sponsored by Visa, Inc.

Its findings aren’t exactly cause to pop champagne for those in the business travel marketplace. However, finding that things will remain relatively tepid as far as growth is concerned is actually great news considering the economic state of the world.

The report states unequivocally: “U.S. business travel will continue to grow at stable and steady rates over the next two years, despite significant headwinds from Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East.”

Now to put some numbers to that claim, the study issues the following in regards to inflation and International travel.

Inflation Rates: “Business travel inflation in the United States has been at historically low levels due to a stronger dollar and plummeting oil prices. In 2015, price growth was the lowest witnessed since the Great Recession. In 2016 and 2017, price growth will return to normal – 2.6 percent and 3.0 percent respectively – but breakout potential will be limited.”

Travel Abroad: “Business travel to international destinations will continue to face challenges from poor global macroeconomic fundamentals. While North America and Western Europe were two of the most stable regions in the world in 2015, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa were a drag on global growth. This trend will likely continue in 2016 as well.”

While it may be slow going for those outside this particular nation, it seems U.S. travel will soldier on at an improved, albeit small, rate.

The study states there is a percentage to go along with the sentiment, putting the growth at, “3.2 percent in 2016 and 3.5 percent in 2017, reaching $299.9 billion and $310.4 billion, respectively.”

Even those promising numbers, however, have to be tempered a bit.

GBTA Executive Director and COO, Michael W. McCormick, offered: “Over the next two years, U.S. business travel spending will grow at just above 3 percent, but this is largely driven by price, not transaction level increases. In this environment of modest transaction growth, low inflation levels and global uncertainty – we can expect continued consolidation in the business travel industry.” Corporate housing companies are expected to grow withn the next 2 years .

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