Toronto GBTA Study: Biz Travel Generates $40.1B In GDP

Kerry Sharpe, Open Jaw

A new report issued on 18APR at the GBTA Conference 2018 – Toronto reveals the high potential of business travel to drive economic development and business success. The report, produced by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in partnership with BCD Travel and Air Canada, also reveals the risk to the economy from a downturn in travel.

The study, titled ‘The Canadian Business Travel Industry: Business Travel’s Impact on Jobs and the Canadian Economy,’ shows that business travel was responsible for about 2.6 percent ($40.1 billion) of Canadian GDP in 2016.

The economic impact study found that Canadian business travellers took a total of 35.1 million trips, up 5.7 percent from the previous year, and spent $29.4 billion on travel goods and services in Canada, up 7.3 percent. Total expenditures to support Canadian business travel reached $35.8 billion when factoring in the $6.4 billion spent on meetings operations.

What’s more, the business travel industry was found to support 573,000 jobs and generated $10.7 billion in federal, provincial and local taxes. In fact, much of the sector’s contribution to the economy accrues directly to industries that serve business travellers, but their supply chain beneficiaries received an additional indirect contribution of $10 billion.

“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 polices can have on an economy’s bottom line.”

“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 SVP and Canada general manager. “Sometimes it’s important to establish key drivers using data so that everyone interested 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, at Air Canada.

Kerry Sharpe

Kerry Sharpe Columnist

Having worked in travel for the last 16 years, Kerry has experience covering the industry as media, as well as being under its lens when she worked for Thomas Cook, TravelBrands and itravel2000. A new mom, Kerry recently returned to the workforce and when she’s not chasing after her daughter, you’ll see her out and about covering industry events alongside her new BFF Tina the Travel Agent.

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