GBTA: Western European business travel spend to grow 4% to 6% in 2018, Brexit still a risk

    Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) reported (14-Aug-2018) Western Europe business travel generated USD310 billion in spending in 2017, up 4% year-on-year. Growth was 3.9% in France, 5.6% in Germany and 6.3% in Spain. GBTA reported the “only major drag on the Western European business travel market” in 2017 was the UK, where spend declined 0.7%. The decline was driven by the fallout from the Brexit vote, including the weakening of the GBP, increased inflation and the associated pressure on consumer spending. GBTA projects moderate to strong growth over the forecast horizon in Western Europe with Germany, France and Spain all growing their business travel markets in the 4% to 6% range. GBTA stated the biggest downside risk for the region comes from the British business travel market, as the health of the market will hinge on the final terms of Brexit negotiations. [more – original PR]