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While 2011 looks set to be a year of “resurgence” for business travel spend in the US, 2012 will see slower growth, according to the latest figures from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).
The organisation has predicted the amount spent on business travel in 2011 to hit $250.2 billion, 6.9% up on 2010.
For 2012, however, GBTA has predicted US business travel spend to reach 260.9 billion, representing a 4.3% rise on 2011.
Next year’s growth is expected to come mainly from increases in the price of travel, according to the GBTA, rather than an increase in the amount of travel.
Michael McCormick, GBTA’s executive director, said companies in the US are likely to be cautious with their travel spend.
“Uncertain economic conditions around the world continue to impact companies, which in turn impacts business travel plans and can lead to hesitation in spending,” he said.
“However, business travel spending growth remains vibrant, and the current environment does not portend a dramatic travel slowdown.”
Companies are unlikely to cut back drastically on business travel, according to McCormick.
“They have become smarter and more conscious about the level of business travel that is critical to driving growth,” he said.
“They recognize where they cut back too much during the recession and won’t make the same mistakes twice, because they know there is great value in personal relationships and business travel is a critical component in sealing those bonds.”