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U.S. Business Travel Forecast for 2014

A study by the Global Business Travel Association predicts a 7.2 percent rise in business travel spending next year, to $288.8 billion. The projection assumes an improving economy, steady profits and hikes in business investment.

 United States

Looking at several travel industry group forecast such as AMEX, Advito, IBISWorld and CWT, although numbers varied by segment, all predict slow steady growth for business travel.  A positive sign that the U.S. economy is improving.

 Air Fare

The word from American Express Travel is business travel airfares will decline in North America varying by class:

Short Haul Business Class         8% to 13% decrease

Long Haul Business Class          3% to 6 % increase

Short haul economy                    0 to 3% increase

Long Haul Economy                   0 to 4% decrease

Hotel

The average nightly room rate stands at $110 in the U.S., with an average occupancy rate of 64 percent, according to Jan Freitag, a senior vice president at Tennessee-based STR (Smith Travel Research). “Next year we see the occupancy growing by 1.3 percent and room rates 4.5 to 5 percent. That’s the average for the nation.

Car Rental & Ground Transportation

Car rentals and ground transportation will likely see small price increases. Car rental rates are expected to increase 1% to 1.5% in 2014.  The limousine and sedan industry is expected to have slow steady growth around 3 % year over year.  Prices will fluctuate mainly due to fuel prices.