Many corporate travelers and managers are concerned about slowdown warnings on 2019 business travel growth. Situations like the December-January government shutdown and a recent travel advisory from the U.S. State Department cautioning visitors to China has some feeling skeptical. However, the U.S. Travel Association’s data suggests that, moving forward in 2019, the business travel industry should not be significantly impacted. In fact, it should continue to grow.

Here are a few predictions from the U.S. Travel Association 2019 Travel Trends Index:

  • Business travel is expected to grow at a faster rate than leisure travel over the next six months, supported by strong business investment
  • Domestic travel is expected to grow approximately 2.4% year-over-year through May 2019, with business and leisure both contributing to the expansion
  • U.S. business travel spending is expected to reach $237 billion this year, surpassing pre-recession levels

The Skift Global Travel Economy Outlook 2019 from Skift Research found high optimism among corporations for planned spending in the coming year, despite slowdown warnings. Seth Borko, senior research analyst at Skift Research, stated “surveys of purchasing managers indicate that the demand environment remains healthy, and that businesses continue to expand, though the pace of growth has slowed somewhat.”

Despite today’s technology, most people, specifically in sales, understand the benefit of meeting in person with a client or potential client rather than conducting a phone or internet meeting. There is less distraction. You can use body language to your advantage, communication becomes clearer, and there is a better opportunity for relationship building. It demonstrates care for the client. With all the value found in face-to-face meetings, there will always be a strong need for business travel.

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