By the Numbers: Global Business Travel Volume & Payment Trends



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Global business travel has mirrored global GDP growth for the past decade, with a dip at the start of the Great Recession, followed by steady growth. This growth is expected to continue in the coming years.

Change in Global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Global Business Travel Spending

Year U.S. Exports ($BN)   Global GDP Global Business Travel Change
2008 $1,841,612 11.4% 3.0% 4.6%
2009 $1,583,053 -14.0% -0.2% -7.5%
2010 $1,853,038 17.1% 5.3% 8.0%
2011 $2,125,947 14.7% 4.3% 9.3%
2012 $2,218,354 4.3% 3.5% 3.2%
2013 $2,294,199 3.4%
3.5% 4.4%
2014 $2,376,657 3.6% 3.6% 6.1%
2015 $2,266,691 -4.6% 3.5% 3.9%
2016 $2,215,844 -2.2% 3.2% 3.5%
2017 $2,351,072 6.1% 3.8% 5.8%
2018     3.9% 7.1%

Sources: World Economic Outlook, April 2018, International Monetary Fund, and GBTA BTI™ Outlook — Annual Global Report & Forecast

Corporate cards remain very popular with both traveling employees and travel program administrators, but new business travel payment options are growing in popularity and adoption. Companies are also embracing a range of tools to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of their business travel programs.

Corporate Card Usage for Business Travel

90% of travel programs use corporate cards[1]

73% of travel managers are satisfied with data received from corporate cards (vs. 48% for personal cards/cash)[1]

72% of business travelers pay for dining with a corporate card[2]

Emerging Payment Methods for Business Travel

56% of travel programs use central travel accounts[3]

22% of corporate travel managers say their corporate cards are compatible with mobile wallets[3]

72% of travel buyers are interested in offering mobile wallets to travelers in the future[3]

Business Travel Management Tools

51% of travel programs use a travel and expense tool[4]

54% of travel programs reconcile actual expenses with booking data[4]

68% of travel programs offer a mobile expense management app[3]