U.S. Travel: Business Travel Spending to Grow, but Slowly

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U.S. Travel: Business Travel Spending to Grow, but Slowly


U.S. domestic business travel volume is projected to remain below pre-pandemic levels until 2026, while total business travel spending—both domestic and international—is not forecast to recover before 2028, according to a forecast released Wednesday by the U.S. Travel Association and prepared by Tourism Economics.

U.S. Travel projects business travel volume and spend each to continue to grow year over year through 2027, the last year of the forecast, but at a declining rate each year. Global business travel spending is projected to reach $265.5 billion in 2024, nearly 87 percent of 2019 levels. By 2027, it is expected to reach $282.7 billion, 92.4 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

The U.S. Travel forecast is less optimistic than the one released by the Global Business Travel Association in August 2023. GBTA projected global business travel spend to exceed 2019 levels by the end of 2024 by about 6 percent.

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U.S. Travel projects slowing economic growth that “will hinder domestic business travel’s recovery.” Domestic business travel volume for 2024 is projected to be $442 million, about 95 percent of 2019 levels, up from 89 percent in 2023, according to U.S. Travel. For 2025 it is forecast to be within a hairsbreadth of recovery at 99 percent, then is expected to reach $473.7 million in 2026, about 2.1 percent above pre-pandemic levels.

Domestic business travel spending for 2024 is projected to reach $236.8 billion, nearly 89 percent of 2019 levels. By 2027, that figure is forecast to be $252.8 billion, 93.8 percent of pre-pandemic spending.

U.S international business travel spending also is not projected to fully recover during the timeline of the forecast. U.S. Travel forecasts $28.7 billion in U.S. international spending in 2024, about 78.8 percent of 2019 levels. By 2027, such spending is expected to reach $29.8 billion, still lagging recovery at about 82 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

The report comes about a week after U.S. Travel released findings that show the United States ranks 17th out of 18 top travel markets in terms of global competitiveness.



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