European travel spend to bounce back in 2013

5 April 2013

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5 April 2013 | Anna Reynolds

Business travel across Europe is this year expected to return to the levels seen before the Eurozone crisis, according to a report by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

The report, GBTA BTI Outlook Western Europe, forecast the growth of business travel spending in Germany in 2013 would be 5 per cent, and an increase of 1.9 per cent in the UK.

A key factor in the rise is the increase in domestic travel. In Germany, this is anticipated to grow by 5.7 per cent, where as international outbound travel will rise by 2 per cent this year. It is also the case in the UK, where domestic travel is expected to reach $28.3 billion (£18.6 billion) in 2014, a rise of 4.4 per cent. At the same time international travel is predicted to experience a 3 per cent rise to $13.7 billion (£9 billion).

Catherine McGavock, regional director for Europe for the GBTA, said in a statement: “In the context of the struggling European economy our expectations for business travel spending in Western Europe are relatively positive for 2013. There are signs of recovery in Germany and the UK, with both expected to experience growth in business travel spending this year. We believe that this is the beginning of a wider trend in the region and expect growth in business travel spending to accelerate in 2014 to the levels we saw before the Eurozone crisis.”

But not every European nation will see business travel spending bounce back. It is expected to fall by 6.2 per cent in Spain and 2.9 per cent in Italy. France will also suffer a drop of 1.4 per cent, because of exposure to those economies.

But the GBTA did predict a return to growth in 2014 due to falling borrowing costs and lower budget deficits. In Italy domestic travel will grow by 1.4 per cent and international travel by 1.9 per cent. In Spain, there will be a rise of 2.2 per cent domestically, although international travel will remain flat.

The report, based on research from GBTA members, key economic market drivers and data from Rockport Analytics, is free for GBTA members or can be purchased by emailing pyachnes@gbtafoundation.org

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