Growth seen in business travel

Business travel spending is expected to continue to grow throughout 2013.

The latest quarterly forecast from the Global Business Travel Association found that business travel spending should reach $273.3 billion in 2013 at a 4.3 percent growth rate, with group travel spending growing at a pace of 5.3 percent, to $117.1 billion. After adjusting for inflation, real travel spending growth is projected to hit 1.3 percent this year.

Growth is being driven by domestic travel.

“It’s encouraging to see the return and increase of domestic business travel,” said Tad Fordyce, head of Global Commercial Solutions at Visa Inc. “These increases are positive reinforcements that travelers are regaining confidence in our own economy and re-investing in the growth of their businesses. We hope to see these increases have a ripple effect on international travel in key markets in the coming future.”

International outbound business travel spending is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2013 to $33.1 billion, a slight decline from last quarter’s projection of $33.3 billion. This is due in part to a softening in the economies of key U.S. export markets, including China and the Euro zone.