Skift Take

Economic instability affects both businesses who plan to cut back on travel spending and Americans who choose not to travel because they can't afford to look like they're slacking

Source: Los Angeles Times
Author: Hugo Martin

After a strong surge over the last two years, business travel in the U.S. is expected to grow more slowly through the end of the year, largely because of economic uncertainty in Europe.

The slowdown in travel spending was forecast last week in a report by the Global Business Travel Assn., a trade group for travel managers. The group also cited continuing worries about the U.S. economy, low job growth, falling consumer confidence and slowing corporate profits.

The group predicted spending on business travel this year will jump 2.2% over last year, reaching $256.5 billion, compared with a previous forecast that the spending would grow 3.6% in 2012.

“In a challenging economy, companies may look to cut their travel spending,” said Michael W. McCormick, executive director of the association. “But GBTA research shows that that is the exact opposite of what they should be doing.”

He added that cutting travel spending would hurt a company’s bottom line and “make a bad economic situation significantly worse due to business travel’s impact on the overall economy.”

Business travel spending surged back after the economic downturn, jumping 5.1% in 2010 and 7.2% in 2011, according to the association.

The group predicts a rebound in travel spending next year, up 4.7% to $268.5 billion, but that was with the assumption that Europe’s economic woes do not worsen.

More adults to work during summer vacation

With more Americans worried about the direction of the economy, a new survey found that 52% of employed adults planned to put in some work during their summer vacation this year.

That is up from 46% of employed Americans who said in a similar survey last year that they worked through their vacation.

The latest survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of TeamViewer, a producer of remote control and online meetings software. It also found 30% of Americans surveyed said they planned to read work-related emails and 23% planned to take work-related phone calls while on vacation.

The survey further found that employed men were more likely to say they would work during summer vacation than women (56% for men compared with 47% for women). Also, 39% of workers in the West said they would read work-related emails on vacation, compared with 25% of those living in the South.


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Tags: gbta

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