Business travel budgets grow but fall short of pre-recession levels.
LOS ANGELES — If you're a business traveler, you may have noticed that your bosses have started to loosen their grip on the travel budget.
Reports and surveys released last week said the corporate world is willing to spend more on travel. But the reports also show that business owners are still not spending like they did before the recession.
The INTERNATIONAL AIR TRANSPORT ASSOCIATION, the trade group for airlines worldwide, released statistics that showed passenger traffic on first- and business-class seats was up 13.8% in July from the same month last year.
Meanwhile, about 63% of the travel firm owners, managers and agents who were surveyed said business travel bookings for airline seats and hotel rooms were up as of Aug. 30 compared with a year earlier, according to the Travel Leaders Group, a Minneapolis travel company.
That's good news for the struggling airline and hotel industries, which make a bulk of their revenue from the business traveler. The bad news is that the rate of business travel remains below pre-recession levels.
Nearly 61% of the travel managers and agents surveyed said travel bookings were either the same or below the rate of 2008. Statistics from the airline trade group showed the number of passengers flying in premium-class seats — typically occupied by business travelers — were still 8% below pre-recession levels.
A travel forecast by EGENCIA, the corporate travel arm of Expedia Inc., reached a similar conclusion. "Corporations are traveling again this year, though still below 2008 levels," said Rob Greyber, president of Egencia.
Source: Los Angeles Times