Why business travel is good for the economy

In 2012, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation initiated a study titled, “The U.S. Business Travel Industry: Road Warriors’ Impact on Jobs and the Economy.” In summary, the study found that the country’s economic health may have found a remedy in business travel. The research resulted in some interesting figures…

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From January – December 2012, the business travel industry accounted for 3% ($491 billion) of the gross domestic product for the United States, supported 7.1 million domestic jobs and generated $118 billion in taxes (federal, state and local).

Our nation’s businesses spent approximately $384 billion at hotels, airports and restaurants to send road warriors out on 452 million business trips.

With that being said, if our nation’s business travel spend increased by just 1%, the entire economy would gain an additional 71,000 jobs, $3 billion in wages and $1.2 million in tax collections.

“While the road warriors’ focus is on closing deals, it comes as no surprise the huge impact the business travel industry has on the nation’s economy,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA’s executive director and COO.

The study validated a few benefits of increasing business travel efforts:

Spending Potential: If the government created business travel policies, companies would spend more, “adding another $13 billion in travel spending and yielding $915 billion in new sales and nearly $250 billion in additional gross profit,” he added.

Face-to-Face Communication: The study suggested that we should take the initiative to increase in-person business meetings and decrease the amount of electronic communication, noting the invaluable effects of face-to-face communication.

State Economies: Travel and tourism industries make substantial contributions to state economies, making business travel a knight in shining armor. The positive effect of the tourism industry on Florida’s economy, for example, was to the tune of over $51 billion in 2012.

Do/could you currently have road warriors at your organization? If you could but choose not to, what is stopping you from traveling for business? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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