Global Business Travel to reach $1.6 trillion by 2020 - Sharing Economy up by 56%

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Global Business Travel to reach $1.6 trillion by 2020 - Sharing Economy up by 56%Global business travel spend topped $1.2 trillion USD in 2015, growing 5 percent over 2014, and is forecast to reach 1.3 trillion in 2016

Global business travel spend topped $1.2 trillion USD in 2015, growing 5 percent over 2014, and is forecast to reach 1.3 trillion in 2016 according to the GBTA BTI™ Outlook – Annual Global Report & Forecast, a new report released today by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of GBTA, and sponsored by Visa, Inc. Despite continued global uncertainty, cautious optimism rules the forecast, which predicts global business travel spend to advance 5.8 percent on average over the next five years reaching $1.6 trillion in 2020. 

Global business travel remains a critical driver of the success of organizations around the globe,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “Business travel has demonstrated a tremendous resiliency as it continues slow and steady progress even in the face of global uncertainty, a weakened global economy, terrorist attacks, world health issues and other obstacles. Companies across the globe clearly understand the return on investment business travel delivers for their bottom line.” 

While overall growth has remained steady despite global uncertainties, signs are good for a solid end to the decade as we approach 2020,” said David Henstock, VP, Global Business Solutions at Visa, Inc. “Business travel has continued to evolve as the world is becoming more connected, and the transition to electronic payments will help businesses reduce costs and pay for travel expenses more efficiently.” 

The Annual Rankings 

At $291 billion, China surpassed the United States as the largest business travel market in the world in 2015.

The Next Five Years: The Quest for Growth in an Era of Uncertainty 

Sustained economic uncertainty and mixed results among the major business travel markets will drive continued moderate growth, but as GBTA looks ahead towards 2020, we expect that there will be a drastic difference in the relative performance of business travel markets around the globe. 

Both India and Indonesia will average double-digit growth in business travel spending over the next five years. China’s economic growth continues to moderate and GBTA forecasts their business travel market will be the fifth fastest growing major market in the world over the next five years – a vast departure from their #1 average ranking over the last 15 years. Despite declines in growth, China remains the largest single market opportunity for travel suppliers and marketers as their $291 billion market size coupled with 8.4 percent average growth will lead to the largest gains in spending of any major market by far. 

The Impact of Brexit 

The annual forecast was compiled before the U.K. voted for Brexit on June 23, but the added uncertainty the vote brings will likely make its mark felt on business travel. The financial upheaval and pending changes to trade and immigration rules will raise management heartburn causing some postponement, and even outright cancellation of business trips. It may also trigger travel budget constriction as management seeks to hedge the uncertainty. If the U.K. does enter a mild recession, domestic and outbound business travel will suffer. On the other hand, a much weaker pound will make leisure and business travel to the U.K. a real bargain. 

Business Travel Evolution: 15 Years of Volatility 

With 15 years of business travel spend now tracked by the GBTA Foundation, it is clear that business travel has evolved rapidly in this time. In 2000, $634 billion was spent on global business travel, half of the $1.2 Trillion spent in 2015. Growth has been driven by an increasingly connected world and the rapid maturation of a number of key business travel markets. 

External forces have also had a dramatic impact as early in the millennium business travel volumes were held back as many developed economies battled recession. By 2004, however, the global economy was back in full swing and business travel prospered between 2003 and 2008. Beginning in late 2008, the Great Recession and Financial Crisis began and global business travel plummeted over the following 18 months. Business travel clawed its way back over the next few years, outpacing the recovery in the overall global economy. Following the robust recovery period for business travel in 2010 and 2011, global business travel spending growth entered the doldrums only growing in the 3 percent range. Now we have entered an era of uncertainty marked by moderate growth for the foreseeable future. 

United States 2016 Q2 Outlook Highlights The GBTA Foundation also released its GBTA BTI™ Outlook – United States 2016 Q2 report today with slightly downgraded expectations from the previous quarter. GBTA forecasts U.S. business travel spending to grow only 0.9 percent this year ($292.5 billion) before advancing 4.2 percent in 2017 ($304.9 billion). 

Increasing risks in the domestic and global economies, uncertainty leading up to the U.S. presidential election, the surprising vote from the U.K. to leave the EU and continued signs of a weakening global economy have combined to influence the slightly more pessimistic outlook for U.S. business travel over the next six months. 

The slow growth environment of the U.S. and global economies has taken a toll on many fronts leading to this ‘new normal’ of slow, but steady one to two percent progress,” said McCormick. “Favoring dividends, M&A and stock repurchases over investing in capital, people and business travel in this environment could come back to haunt U.S. businesses. When growth does re-accelerate, companies must be ready with the newest technologies, the most productive workforce and the critical customer relationships necessary to take full advantage.” 

More Information

The GBTA BTI™ Outlook – Annual Global Report & Forecast and the GBTA BTI™ Outlook – United States 2016 Q2 are free of charge to all GBTA Members by clicking here. Non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing pyachnes@gbtafoundation.org. Click here to view a preview of the research.

About the GBTA Foundation

The GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. Collectively, GBTA’s 7,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its growing network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts with world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media. The Foundation was established in 1997 to support GBTA’s members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the GBTA Foundation seeks to fund initiatives to advance the business travel profession. The GBTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, see gbta.org and gbta.org/foundation.

Concur study highlights business travel, spending

At the same time, Concur, the world's leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, released its innovative State of Business Travel 2016 report at the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) convention. In the report, Concur delivers a comprehensive look at where and how business travelers are spending. With business travel rapidly changing, and travel and expense representing the second-largest area of controllable business spend, the insights in this report will allow companies to better design their travel and spend policies, which in turn influences their bottom line.

Concur analyzed business travel booking and expense reporting data from its database of more than 40 million users, representing more than $76 billion in annual spend. By presenting this mass of data in the context of six business traveler personas – a first in the industry – Concur makes this information more relevant and actionable for companies.

Business Traveler Behaviors

The State of Business Travel report confirms that not all business travelers are created equal. In some cases, a company may want to tailor its travel policy to account for the unique needs of its travelers, from frequent flyers and road warriors to once-a-year travelers.

More than half of all business travelers are "Cautious Carls," but Carls account for only 14 percent of total business travel spend.

"High-tech Hannahs" and "Cautious Carls" care more about price than other types of travelers, while "Savvy Sams" and "Jet Setter Jeremys" (who contribute to 46 percent of total business travel spend) are more concerned with comfort and convenience.

When it comes to air travel, "Jet Setter Jeremys" consistently spend the most because they are more likely to book at the last minute and opt for premium seats.

"Managing travel and expense is becoming increasingly complex, between integration with mobile technology, nuances in traveler preferences, and new travel supplier strategies," said Robb Nielsen, vice president of global product experience at Concur. "This demands a fully connected travel and expense ecosystem paired with actionable insights, giving travel managers the visibility and control they need to drive cost savings."

Sharing Economy on the Rise

While it's no surprise home-sharing services like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway are increasing in popularity among business travelers, Concur data indicates a dramatic 56-percent growth in usage from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016. On average, business travelers stay five nights when home sharing, compared to three nights when staying at a traditional hotel.

Meanwhile, Atmosphere Research Group data from 2015 shows that 8 percent of U.S. business travelers used home-sharing accommodations at least once on a business trip. According to Harteveldt, this number is expected to approach 10 percent in 2016 as more companies approve the use of home-sharing services, and home-sharing hosts improve property amenities – such as higher-quality bedding and faster, more reliable Wi-Fi connectivity.

Existing and Emerging Business Travel Markets: U.S. vs. China

From conferences, to leadership meetings, to sales trips – business travels take employees to locations far and wide. But different cities come at different costs. In 2015, Concur business travelers spent the most in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco among U.S. cities, while the U.K., Canada, and China took top rankings for spend outside the U.S.

"China's growth as a business travel market is increasingly driven by Chinese travelers, rather than international visitors to the country," added Harteveldt. "In fact, Boeing's Long Term Market Outlook for 2015 to 2034 estimates Chinese airlines will order 6,130 new aircraft (from all manufacturers), or 17 percent of all new aircraft. The 146,590 hotel rooms under construction in China in May 2016 account for more than 56 percent of the total hotel rooms being built across Asia, according to Smith Travel Research."

They Spent What, Where?

Last year, Concur processed 86 million expense reports, while Concur users booked 46 million flights and expensed 74 million hotel nights, nearly $10 billion in ground transportation, and $12 billion in dining and entertainment. The data led to some surprising facts from 2015:

  • Several Concur log-ins have originated from the International Space Station
  • The single highest line item submitted on an expense report was for $2.2 million
  • Monday, November 30 was the busiest day for expense reports, with 534,669 reports submitted
  • 60 percent of Concur expense reports are simple, with an average of five line items, and are completed in an average of eight minutes or less
  • 84 people expensed between 360 and 365 hotel days
  • Concur's busiest 1 percent of travelers boarded an average of 146 flights
  • The most expensive car rental expensed was for $31,082 in Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • The most expensive ride sharing transaction was for $27,244 in New York, New York

Click here to learn more and read the full State of Business Travel report.

Read more here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

 

 

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