Business trips help to boost revenue – and the job market – across the country

Many business owners have long suspected that business trips help to improve revenue and create jobs. Now, a recent report from the Global Business Travel Association has confirmed that theory. 

A report from the firm detailed how roughly 3 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product in 2012 – representing $491 billion – originated in business travel. Additionally, the firm reported that for every one percent increase in business travel spending, the U.S. is able to create an additional 71,000 jobs. Those jobs then account for an additional $5 billion in GDP, $3 billion in wages and $1.2 billion in collected taxes.

"Business travel matters," claimed Mike Fegley, vice president of American sales for the Intercontinental Hotels Group, the sponsor of the study. "Business travel is a driver of the economy and these numbers solidify its importance. The study shows we can really move the needle of the economy by getting out on the road for face to face meetings conducting business and generating jobs."

The study went on to note that U.S. businesses had spent more than $384 billion on business trips in 2012 alone. These figures make it very clear: there is a distinct need for business travel to keep the U.S. economy running smoothly. Hiring managers and employers would do well to keep that in mind when setting budgets and hiring workers. According to the report, business travel alone currently supports 7.1 million jobs in the U.S. while simultaneously generating roughly $118 billion in taxes.

"Business travel is an important aspect of travel and tourism," said Gus Bilirakis, a U.S. Representative from Florida. "As the Global Business Travel Association's study notes, nearly $500 billion was contributed to the U.S. economy by business travel alone in 2012. That same year, Florida's tourism industry supported over one million employees and contributed over $51 billion to Florida's economy … The bottom line is that both international travel to the United States and domestic travel within our nation create jobs."

Alternate modes of lodging are taking hold as businesses invest in more trips
There's more proof than individuals working financial analyst jobs, investor relations jobs, and other positions are going on more business trips than ever: according to SFGate, alternate modes of lodging are starting to become more prevalent. For example, a company known as Airbnb currently offers small work spaces and living areas to business travelers.

"For these market launches, it makes so much sense," Elsita Meyer-Brandt, head of international expansion at Eventbrite, told SFGate. Her employees often use Airbnb. "Staying in a hotel for four weeks in a row is just no fun. It's so valuable to find a centrally located Airbnb space big enough for our team to work out of. It allows me to get into the market quickly without the pressure of finding the right office space out the gate."

SFGate reported that companies such as Airbnb allow for businesses to save money on otherwise costly trips outside the office. One Airbnb patron reported to the news outlet that his company was able to spend less than 75 percent of the $1,200 that had been allotted to his latest business trip by making use of alternate lodging via Airbnb. The spaces offered are rented through the company, from private sources to a number of businesses in different sectors, providing a low-cost alternative to hotels. Such money-saving measures are helping to make business travel even more attractive to executives as a form of investment. 

"Airbnb is rapidly becoming a direct competitor of hotels," Patrick Bosworth, CEO and co-founder of Duetto, told SFGate. "Cracking that business-traveler market is essential for its growth."