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Ready to take my business skills international(TNS)–U.S. business travel spending is expected to increase 4.9 percent this year, to $302.7 billion, but concerns about the U.S. economy likely will dampen what could be even more growth, according to the Global Business Travel Association and Visa.

“U.S. business travel was poised for significant growth in 2015, but the erratic performance of key economic drivers caused some to tap the brakes on additional travel spending,” says Michael W. McCormick, executive director of the Global Business Travel Association, in a statement.

Next year, business travel is projected to increase by 5.4 percent to $318.9 billion.

Since hitting a low in 2009, global business travel spending has increased 38 percent.

In terms of volume, U.S. travel this year is expected to increase by 1 percent, to 488.1 million individual trips. That’s expected to grow another 3 percent next year, according to the travel group. That amounts to an average of more than 38,000 additional business trips every day.

Group-meeting volume decreased by 2 percent in 2014, but much of the decline was due to a difficult comparison year — a strong 2013, when volume surged 8.6 percent, the report says.

Economic challenges globally, namely in parts of Europe, China, Russia and Brazil, are subduing outbound international travel over the next year and a half, the report says. Growth will be 3.1 percent, down from last quarter’s forecast of 5.1 percent. A stronger dollar isn’t helping either, the report says.

Travel prices are expected to remain tame. The report estimates inflation in travel prices was 2 percent in 2014 and will be 1.7 percent this year.

©2015 Chicago Tribune
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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