Chris VennittiA leading travel industry study finds that U.S. business travel is continuing to steadily grow.

This indicates rising management confidence in the economic recovery, which tends to accompany increased travel budgets and fewer travel restrictions.

Overall, U.S. business travel spending is expected to increase 6.8 percent to $292.3 billion in 2014.

Positive Forecast for 2013

The Alexandria-based Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) reaffirmed its positive forecast of the U.S. business travel industry with the release last week of its 2014 Outlook study.

The study highlights the important relationship of business travel to overall U.S. economic growth.

“Business travel spending in the U.S. supports 7.1 million jobs,” says Michael W. McCormick, GBTA Executive Director and COO.

Travel Growth Linked to Jobs

“We continue to see a correlation: growth in business travel is intrinsically linked to jobs development and ultimately growth in the U.S. economy.”

Group business travel continues to outperform individual business travel, a significant indicator that the business travel industry is recovering from the Great Recession and increasing discretionary spending.

In addition, the GBTA study identifies other key trends that could impact business travel in the coming months, including the price of oil, cost of travel and international outbound business travel.

The Global Business Travel Association is the world’s largest business travel and meetings organization, headquartered here in the Washington area, with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 7,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually.