The winter months were hard for the travel industry, but now that weather is improving, people are getting back into the wanderlust spirit. In fact, the long-awaited return to sunshine and blue skies might be leading to an unprecedented increase in the number of individuals who are gearing up for business travel.
New weather, new opportunities
According to Fox Business, the Global Business Travel Association expects that this season will be even bigger and better than ever for this industry, with spending rising close to 7.1 percent up to $293.3 billion in 2014. This represents a 6.6 percent growth over last quarter, and the source noted that this trajectory doesn't seem to be slowing anytime soon.
"As the spring thaw gets into full swing, businesses are feeling more confident, with pent-up demand to get their employees back on the road," Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO, told the source. "Today's forecast suggests that this measured but steady improvement should continue."
A look back at the winter
During the winter months, USA Today reported that several flights were canceled due to inclement weather, such as snow and ice storms, subzero temperatures and sleet. Now, however, businesses that were once hesitant to send their employees away for work are now confident that they won't have nearly as much trouble going forward. McCormick told the source that although some companies might have suffered losses, the lag time shouldn't be enough to derail bottom-line projections.
"It certainly has some impact," McCormick said. "But on the whole, those kinds of impacts are relatively minor... Companies still need to accomplish their objectives. They tend to reschedule those trips quickly and get people back on the road. I think we'll have a very busy spring in terms of business travel in the U.S."
Some companies looking globally
The global economy is also playing a role in this uptick in corporate travel. According to the source, some businesses are looking for opportunities abroad, which allows them to enter new markets. With so much potential for growth, decision-makers have turned their sights on travel as a powerful tool, allowing them to keep a foothold in domestic and worldwide economies. Even with political turmoil in Crimea and Ukraine, the source noted that American business does not seem to be slowing in that part of the world, either.