Business travel spend will pick up, says industry association

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) insists that spend on corporate travel will increase in 2013, despite predictions from major European markets currently painting a bleak picture.

Forecasts from 2012 indicate a fall in Business Travel Spending (BTS) in 2012, with the overall rate expected to drop by 2.2 per cent to $177 billion (£109 million) by the end of the year.

However, conference-news.co.uk reports that BTS in Western Europe will grow by around 1.4 per cent in 2013; driven by business from Germany, France and the UK.

Any improvement is expected to be boosted significantly by the UK market, which GBTA predicts will remain flat in 2012. Come 2013, UK BTS will rebound by 2.8 per cent; courtesy of a 3.9 per cent hike in international outbound spending.

To give function venues and hotels an idea of where their business is likely to arrive from, hotelsmag.com reports that German BTS will grow by 3.3 per cent in 2013 to $52.5 billion (£32 billion), business in France will recover from a loss of -2.2 per cent to grow 1.1 per cent in 2013, with only Italy and Spain remaining in the red.

Paul Tilstone, managing director of GBTA Europe, said the European market had unfolded as expected in 2012 and will continue to represent a challenge in the meantime.  

He concluded: “The GBTA’s fall report therefore remains cautious, with overall business travel spend forecast to increase by 1.4 per cent in Western Europe in 2013.”