Business Travel Industry in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

The travel and tourism industry is one of the largest industries in the United States. Despite being one of the first industries to suffer greatly in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, it was quick to recover and, by 2013, made a total contribution to GDP of 1.35 trillion U.S. dollars. Business travel makes up a sizeable portion of this industry, contributing 282.6 billion U.S. dollars directly to GDP in 2015 – 28.4 percent of travel and tourism’s overall direct contribution. This is likely to increase year on year with domestic business trips predicted to reach 483 million by 2020 – and more business travel means more business travel spending.

Business travel spending is expected to increase by 3.3 percent in the United States in 2017. In terms of the global outlook, however, it is India (13.2%), China (11.5%), the United Kingdom (7.9) and Russia (7.2) who are expected to see the biggest increases in business travel spending in 2017. The average cost of business travel in the U.S. amounts to 309.66 U.S. dollars per day. In San Francisco, the most expensive U.S. city for business travel, this figure is much higher and average costs per day can reach 547.34 U.S. dollars. With such large amounts of money being invested in this growing industry, how are companies choosing to manage travel?

In 2014, Travel Leaders Group was the most successful travel management company in the world in terms of air ticket transactions, making over 2.3 million transactions. The use of travel management companies was popular in 2015, with 84 percent of business travelers reporting that their employer works with one such company. Despite the prolific use of travel management companies, in 2015, most business travelers preferred to use an online booking tool than contact their firm's travel agency or travel management company.

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