US Global Business Travel Association: Project-based business travel grows in importance 

Project-based business travel spending reached USD45.4 billion in 2017, according to a new, first of its kind study conducted by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and InterContinental Hotels Group.

The criteria for project-based travel include the travelling revolving around a project, have both a start and end date and have a duration of at least four nights.

The new study found that, in total, 66 million trips were taken in 2017 for project based purposes, representing 12% of all US business trips and 19% of all US business trips taken for transient purposes.

“Demand for project-based business travel will continue to rise with top project-intense sectors forecast to grow faster than the broader economy in the coming years,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO.

“While project-based business travel is extremely diverse, there are key underlying trends revealed in this study that marketers, suppliers and travel buyers can use to increase revenue, cut costs and improve traveller satisfaction,” he added.

Average spend for project-based business trips was USD679 versus USD533 for other purposes. The study concluded the higher spend is driven by longer average stays and higher trip budgets

GBTA and InterContinental calculated project-based business travellers spent a total of USD15.9 billion on lodging, USD14.6 billion on air transportation, USD7.0 billion on food & beverage, USD1.8 billion on entertainment, USD4.2 billion on ground transportation and USD1.9 billion on retail.

The study also found the top three amenities for project-based business travellers are WiFi access, having breakfast included in a hotel rate and being able to secure additional loyalty points.