Last updated: 09:01 AM ET, Tue November 24 2015

Survey: Business Travel Industry Booming Once Again

Business Travel | Donald Wood | November 24, 2015

Survey: Business Travel Industry Booming Once Again

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

The age of online meetings and instant connections has changed the way people travel for business, but many companies still believe there is nothing that can replace a handshake and a smile.

According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), businesses will spend a record $1.25 trillion this year to send employees on work trips as companies try to grow in today’s economy.

The Economist is also reporting a recent study from Morgan Stanley that states 63 percent of American companies increased their travel budgets for 2015, and that similar numbers are expected from businesses over the next year.

While companies are spending more on trips dedicated to work, the focus on costs during travel is under more scrutiny than ever. A survey by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) claims companies have become stricter about upgrades, expenses and even using centralized booking systems.

The ACTE also explained how companies are missing the boat on alternative suppliers of accommodations like Airbnb, with over half of the businesses responding to the survey ruling out any sharing-economy firms. The companies cited regulatable safety and standards that hotels can be held accountable for as a main reason behind the decision.

Lost in all this talk of companies supporting business travel is the actual men and women who hit the road building the brands. With increased airport security and in-flight Wi-Fi, travelers hitting the open skies are finding less and less personal time.

Instead of not looking forward to traveling for work, though, GBTA announced that around half the surveyed business travelers were happy about the amount of traveling they did, and another third would like to travel more.


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