BY Christopherson Business Travel |

Travel Buyers Expect Rising Rates Will Drive Corporate Travel Budgets Higher

Buyers See Continued Improvement for the Travel Industry and Overall Economy According to GBTA Report
The business travel industry is faring better and the economic recovery is continuing to progress according to a recent survey of North American travel buyers by the GBTA Foundation. The 2011 Industry Pulse: Business Travel Buyers’ Sentiment also found that expected increases in air and hotel rates are major contributors to growing corporate travel budgets.
Highlights from the Annual Industry Pulse Report include:

  • More than half (60%) of travel buyers surveyed feel the economy is doing better than it was one year ago, and nearly as many (57%) feel it will continue to improve over the coming year.
  • Although buyers said that more trips (59%) and more travelers (37%) will continue to increase travel spend, they most often cited increased airline fees (71%) and higher rates/fares (69%) as contributors to larger travel budgets.
  • International travel is gaining momentum. Buyers projected international spend would comprise 34% of total travel spend in 2011, up from 31% of total spend in 2010 and 28% in 2009.
  • Evidence that higher rates and fees are impacting travel budgets is found in the average rates/fees that travel buyers expect to pay in 2011. With the exception of domestic car rentals, buyers expect average rates/fares to rise between 3% and 5.5% in 2011.

The annual report, 2011 Industry Pulse: Business Travel Buyers’ Sentiment, surveyed 253 North American corporate travel buyers in March 2011.