According to MSNBC’s Overhead Bin, 2012 should see a rise in expenditures related to business travel. (As an interesting aside, the author says that business travel spending is an indicator of economic recovery. I have no idea whether that is true or not, but it’s interesting to think about.)
On Tuesday, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) released its latest Business Travel Quarterly Outlook, which monitors business travel spending among U.S. companies. According to the report, spending on business travel is expected to top $263 billion dollars this year, an increase of 4.6 percent over last year.
“We’ve hit the reset button from pre-recession levels,” said Michael McCormick, executive director and chief operating officer. “We’re back at the level we were at in 2007.”
Unfortunately, most of the rise seems to actually be caused by increasing travel costs, not by an expanding number of trips taken. The number of trips taken was up in 2011, but is expected to decline slightly in 2012.
In my role, some of my meetings can be replaced by conference calls or web chats, but the majority have to be in person. Therefore, while for a period of time there was greater scrutiny on travel in general, I never had any trips denied or canceled. That has been true throughout the recession.
I’m curious though—what have everyone else’s experiences been? Has your travel time gone down over the years? Have your in-person trips changed to webinars and conference calls? Do you find those as effective? Thanks for your input, Readers!!