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Global business travel forecast bodes well for Western Europe tradeshows

The tradeshow industry in Western Europe is poised for robust business through 2014, according to the latest business travel report by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

Business travel spending will grow throughout 2013 across most of developed Europe with overall business travel spending being fueled by domestic business travel spending growth, according to the GBTA Business Travel Index (BTI) Outlook report on Western Europe. And with increased business travel comes greater opportunities to accelerate the sales cycle at tradeshows in Western Europe.

“Our expectations for business travel spending in Western Europe are relatively positive for 2013. There are signs of recovery in Germany and the U.K., with both expected to experience growth in business travel spending this year,” said Catherine McGavock, regional director for Europe, GBTA. “We believe this is the beginning of a wider trend in the region and expect growth in business travel spending to accelerate in 2014 to the levels we saw before the Eurozone crisis.”

Report highlights indicate:

  • Germany will record Europe’s highest business travel spending growth rate at 5 percent in 2013.
  • The U.K. will also record business travel spending growth in 2013 at 1.9 percent.
  • Positive recoveries in business travel spending levels in Spain and Italy will remain elusive, with both set to experience further declines in 2013 of -6.2 percent and -2.9 percent, respectively.
  • France’s exposure to the economies of Southern Europe will cause a fall in its business travel spending of -1.4 percent in 2013.
  • In 2014, GBTA forecasts a return to a stable environment for business travel in Western Europe, with the five most critical business travel markets – Germany, the U.K., France, Italy and Spain, returning to growth; and,
  • Growth in 2014 will be underpinned by more international outbound travel as trade levels recover unlike 2013, which is more domestically focused.
Visa, Inc., sponsored the BTI report, which can serve as an economic indicator for global business and the tradeshows that help drive it.

“Travel is a key driver of economic growth. The World Travel and Tourism Council estimates the travel industry contributed 9 percent of global GDP and more than $6 trillion in 2012,” said Tad Fordyce, head of global commercial solutions, Visa. “As more businesses around the world return to travel for work, it will only bode well for helping to improve that global economic outlook.”

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