The results of the 13th annual BTI Outlook, GBTA’s study of business travel spending and growth covering 73 countries and 44 industries, found that after a sharp 53.8 percent year-over-year decline in spending to $661 billion in 2020, global expenditures are predicted to rebound 14 percent in 2021 to $754 billion. This recovery happened more slowly than forecast in the last BTI Outlook, which was published in February this year.
North America – the U.S. in particular – led the recovery, with spend rebounding 27 percent year over year in 2021, with markets in Latin America, Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific all picking up 15 to 20 percent growth. Europe lagged behind the rest of the world, gaining 10 percent this year. The situation is worse in Western Europe, where expenditures for 2021 are expected to fall 3.8 percent from 2020 levels. According to GBTA, this stems from underperformance earlier in the year, but business travel demand in the region is set to outpace most other parts of the world, barring any further pandemic-related setbacks.