GBTA Research Quantifies Business Travel Impact on U.S. Economy

GBTA Research Quantifies Business Travel Impact on U.S. Economy

The business travel industry provided a “major boost” to the U.S. economy in 2022, accounting for about 2 percent of total U.S. gross domestic product and 3.5 percent of total employment, according to a study released by the Global Business Travel Association on Wednesday.

The study combined GBTA research with international spending as reported by the National Travel and Tourism Office as well as meeting spending an Events Industry Council research study called the Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy, and 2022 is the most recent full year for which a complete set of data is available for analysis, according to the organization. It then uses a standard economic model to translate that spending on economics impacts.

Based on the $421.1 billion spent by the U.S. on business travel in 2022—the most spent by any country that year—business travel accounted for $119 billion in tax receipts, according to GBTA. Each dollar spent resulted in $1.15 toward GDP for the U.S., and the spending supported 6 million jobs in the U.S., 38 percent of which were in food service and 19 percent in accommodations, the report said.

“The data shows that business travel is a substantial contributor to the health of the U.S. economy, and therefore also a key driver for the global economy,” GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang said in a statement. “Business travel supports millions of jobs and delivers billions in tax revenue, which is why it is important for policymakers to consider the impact on the industry when devising economic policies—and for sustainable solutions to be prioritized, funded and developed to help us abate travel’s hardest-to-abate sectors.”

Although GBTA is still finalizing its actual data for 2023, it projects business travel spending in the U.S. will be 7 percent higher than pre-pandemic totals in 2019. The organization projects global business travel spending to be more than $1.5 trillion this year.

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