The latest projections reinforce what has become a regular talking point of the Global Business Travel Association: Business travel is resilient.
Despite continued worries over terrorism and uncertainty about the future of the European Union, business travel spending in Europe is heading for robust growth.
According to a new report out Wednesday from the Global Business Travel Association, projections call for business travel spending in Western Europe to increase 6.3 percent this year to more than $211 billion. Next year, spending is expected to jump another 6.8 percent to $225.6 billion.
The report examines Germany, the UK, France, Italy, and Spain, which make up 70 percent of the business travel market in Western Europe. Germany and the United Kingdom are poised to make the greatest gains, with France and Italy expected to post the lowest increases.
“What’s most impressive about these results is that Europe has faced a seemingly endless array of challenges recently,” Catherine McGavock, GBTA regional vice president for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, said in a statement. She named several of those challenges: terror attacks in capital cities including Paris and Brussels; the debt crisis in Greece; the influx of Syrian refugees; and the upcoming referendum in the U.K. on whether or not to leave the European Union.
“The business travel market has not only endured, but thrived – growing at a greater rate over the last year than many of the other large business travel markets across the globe,” McGavock said in the statement.
Low oil prices, supportive monetary policies, an improved labor market, and low inflation rates are all credited for the gains, according to the report.
Wednesday’s forecast is even more positive than projections released by the GBTA in November of last year. That earlier outlook called for business spending to increase to $210.6 billion in 2016, slightly less than the new projection of $211.2 billion.
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Photo credit: A passenger walks through a terminal at Frankfurt Airport. Ralph Orlowski / Reuters