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Business And Convention Travelers’ Habits Tracked in New Survey

February 8, 2005

Business And Convention Travelers’ Habits Tracked in New Survey
February 8, 2005 – The Travel Industry Association of America, the National Business Travel Association and the Institute of Business Travel Management released a new Business and Convention Travelers Report today. The report found that between 1998 and 2003, business and convention travel volume declined more than 14 percent. However, business travel volume grew more than four percent in 2004 and strong growth is expected over the next few years.

"Business travel has been one of the most seriously affected by the events of recent years and the slowest to recover," said Dr. Suzanne Cook, senior vice president of research for TIA. "We believe that this reflects some of the changes that American businesses and business travelers themselves have made in recent years to enhance the efficiency of both the time and money they spend – changes that are still evolving."

The report indicated that the majority of business travelers work at companies with one or more travel policies in place, including restrictions on airfare class, limits on travel per diem, restrictions on hotel class or requirements that upper management approve travel. Improvements in technology have also altered the business travel landscape, creating greater acceptance of online business communication technologies as an alternative to travel.

Nearly 40 percent of all business air travelers were substituting technology, increasingly web conferencing, for some travel in 2004, although this is down from 47 percent reporting the same in 2002.

More than 38 million business travelers generated 210.5 million person-trips in 2003. And although business travel comprises 18 percent of total travel volume, these travelers generate 31 percent, or $153 billion, of all domestic traveler spending.

"By showing that nearly one third of all travel dollars are spent on business travel, the 2004 Business and Convention Travelers Report helps quantify the importance of business travel to the travel industry and the American economy," said NBTA Executive Director and COO, Bill Connors, CTC. "The number of business travelers adding leisure components to business trips and bringing family or friends with them shows the significant links between the leisure and business segments of the travel industry, which are often viewed as separate."

To read the additional findings from the report, visit

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