US business travel industry on the rise

October 24, 2014 |

From international flights to rental car road trips, millions of Americans are on the go everyday as part of their jobs. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Americans make more than 405 million long-distance business travel trips every year, which accounts for 16 percent of all long-distance traveling. Whether it’s meeting a potential client or striking a deal with another company, new reports are indicating that the U.S. business travel industry is currently at an all-time high.

New GBTA report
New numbers of the Global Business Travel Association’s quarterly report on U.S. business travel ubducate that U.S.-originated businesses spent approximately $72.8 billion on traveling last quarter. This is a 7 percent increase from last year’s second quarter, and what’s interesting to note is that the spike in spending comes with a 0.1 percent reduction in amount of business trips taken overall.

In addition to the diminishing amount of solo company travelers, group business trips have also been on the decline of late, falling more than 3 percent while spending on group business traveling rose nearly 6 percent. By the time 2014 concludes, U.S. business travel is predicted to increase 6.8 percent from last year, with a total spending figure of $292.3 billion.

Michael W. McCormick, the executive director of the GBTA, alluded to how this is an overall positive indication from an economic standpoint, and signals that companies are working harder than ever to ensure their goals are achieved.

“The continued strong demand in business travel spending is a positive sign for our economy – this signals that companies are continuing to put travelers on the road to achieve their business objectives,” McCormick said in a statement. “As always, business travel spending is a leading indicator of overall economic growth.”

Reducing personal spending during business travel
It’s good to see that companies are spending ample amounts of money in efforts of not only boosting the prosperity of their company, but of the U.S. economy as well. However, that doesn’t mean that employees should have to break the bank when it comes to their own personal spending during business travel. Stretching out your budget while you’re on the road or flying to a new city is often easier said than done, but it’s certainly possible to save yourself some much needed cash if you know what to look out for.

Packing light is always a recommended tip for business travelers, and avoiding to check any luggage in will easily save you money. Have your travel planner keep an eye out for airlines that don’t charge baggage fees. Always make sure the hotel you’re staying at provides free wireless Internet, and if you ever find yourself stuck at the airport waiting for a delayed flight, it’s probably a smart idea to sign up for a monthly Wi-Fi provider, so you can still get work done.

While your first inclination for booking a hotel is probably to find the cheapest one, it’s the amenities provided that truly save you the most money. In addition to free Internet, make sure to find hotels that provide free meals, or even shuttle services to parts of the city you need to travel to. If you find a room with a kitchen, you can easily save yourself some money by making a meal rather than opting to drop serious dime at a restaurant. As always, utilizing travel agents is always a recommended source for helping you review your options to eliminate unnecessary costs during business travel.