A new report, produced by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in partnership with BCD Travel and Air Canada, shows that business travel was responsible for about 2.6 per cent ($40.1 billion) of Canadian GDP in 2016.
The study, titled “The Canadian Business Travel Industry: Business Travel’s Impact on Jobs and the Canadian Economy,” was released at the GBTA Conference 2018 – Toronto, which was held April 16-18, 2018.
Group business travellers on average spent $1,191, compared with $628 per trip spent by their transient counterparts.
“Business travel is the fuel that powers the engine of many corporations around the Canadian marketplace and is a critical driver of the economy,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “This study clearly demonstrates the importance both face-to-face interactions and enacting pro-travel policies can have on an economy’s bottom line.”
Key findings of the study, include:
- Canadian business travellers took 35.1 million trips in 2016, up 5.7 per cent from the previous year
- they spent $29.4 billion on travel goods and services in Canada, up 7.3 per cent;
- when the $6.4 billion spent on meetings operations is factored in, total expenditures to support Canadian business travel reached $35.8 billion;
- the business travel industry supports 573,000 jobs;
- it generated $10.7 billion in federal, provincial and local taxes;
- and supply chain beneficiaries of the industry received an additional indirect contribution of $10 billion.
“We already knew from previous studies—and intuitively—that business travel was critical to the economic and business success; after all, how many companies can grow their business without expanding into new markets through travel?” said Kathy Bedell, BCD Travel senior vice-president and Canada general manager. ” Sometimes it’s important to establish key drivers using data so that everyone in economic development and business success understands its potential to provide a return on investment.”
“Air linkages are a crucial driver of economic activity, allowing the movement of people and goods. At Air Canada we are intensely focused on expanding our network, especially internationally, and improving connectivity at our major hubs to facilitate traffic flows. This report underscores that we all benefit from an air transport system that is efficient and cost competitive in terms of taxes and fees for the airlines that operate this vital service,” said Duncan Bureau, vice-president, Global Sales, Air Canada.
Breaking Down the Business Trip
According the report, in 2016 the average amount spent per business trip reached $838, including $342 on transportation, $215 on lodging and accommodations, $159 on food and beverages, $105 on retail purchases and $17 on recreation. These averages include both domestic and international inbound trips, as well as both day and overnight trips.
Group business travellers on average spent $1,191, compared with $628 per trip spent by their transient counterparts. Group business travel was a key driver in the overall growth in Canadian business travel activity in 2016 with gains of 14 per cent in total spending over 2015 levels.
Seventy-seven per cent of Canadian business trips were taken for transient purposes (sales trips, client services, government and military travel and travel for construction or repair), while 23 per cent were taken for group travel purposes. On average, business trips lasted only two days in 2016 and more than two-thirds of domestic business trips were day trips while only four percent included a stay greater than five nights.