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Europe Business Travel Growing
World Economy

Europe Business Travel Growing

Business travel spending in Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy combined will grow at over 6% in 2015 and 2016, a leading indicator that the European economy is "gathering steam" and is poised for a moderate economic breakthrough.

These findings are part of the semi-annual GBTA BTI Outlook–Western Europe report, conducted by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association, and sponsored by Visa, Inc, NewsNow reported.

The five markets comprise nearly 70% of western Europe's business travel market. Business travel spending in the countries will grow 6.4% in 2015 and another 6.3% in 2016. In total, this segment of the Western European business travel market will grow from $186.3 billion in 2014 to $210.6 billion in 2016.

"The study shows that the European economy is gathering steam and beginning to put its economic woes in the rear-view mirror," said Catherine McGavock, GBTA's regional vice president–EMEA. "Business travel is faring even stronger than the moderate economic breakthrough, with double digit spending growth in Germany as well as over 7% growth in both the UK and Spain this year. Still uncertainties in the global economy present risks to this business travel breakout, leading to a cautiously optimistic outlook for many companies."

Recovery Progressing

After 2014 proved to be a bounce-back year for western European business travel, the recovery continues to pick up the pace in 2015 with Germany, the UK and Spain leading the way, according to the report.

Germany represents over 20% of western Europe's business travel activity and continues to be the strongest market on the continent. The UK has exhibited some of the strongest performance in the region as improving employment and low energy prices have spurred consumption. Spain continues its impressive economic turnaround and is expecting robust business travel growth this year. France and Italy, on the other hand, are the two most challenged markets with weaker economic growth leading to much lower business travel growth rates.

"With this continued growth forecast in Europe, companies will want to retain control of their costs as travel activity increases," said Tristan Kirchner, executive director, sales and marketing, Visa Europe. "Visa's best-in-class payment solutions play a key role in providing buyers and suppliers with the visibility and automation needed to drive efficiencies to the bottom line."

Travel Outlooks

Germany–a $57.9 billion market–is leading the way, with 10% business travel growth projected in 2015 and 9.5% in 2016. Spending on domestic business travel is surging at 11.4% this year and 10.4% next year, while international outbound business travel will grow 4.2% in 2015 and 5.5% in 2016.

The UK – a $43.5 billion market – is expected to grow at 7.4% in 2015 and 6.2% in 2016. Spending on domestic business travel will grow at 8.3% in 2015 and 7.8% in 2016, while international outbound travel will grow at 5.5% in 2015 and 3.1% in 2016.

Spain – an $18 billion market – is expected to grow at 7.7% in 2015 and 7.1% in 2016. Spending on domestic business travel will grow at 8.6% in 2015 and 7.8% in 2016, while international outbound travel will grow at 4.6% in 2015 and 4.8% in 2016.

France – a $36 billion market – is expected grow at 3.1% in 2015 and 3.4% in 2016.  Spending on domestic business travel will grow at 4.1% this year and 4.5% next year, while international outbound travel will grow at 2.5% in 2015 and 3.4% in 2016.

Italy – a $31 billion market – is expected to grow at 1.1% in 2015 and 1.9% in 2016. Spending on domestic business travel will grow at 0.8% this year and 1.4% next year. International outbound travel will grow at 4.1% in 2015 and 5% in 2016.

 

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