American companies are ready to write bigger checks for business travel this year.
The Global Business Travel Assn. is expecting companies to spend $266.7 billion in 2013. That’s a 4.6% increase over last year, when the “fiscal cliff” and Superstorm Sandy put a crimp in travel.
Still, the group predicted that companies will trim back 1.1% on the number of trips.
The rise in spending and the drop in trips means more travelers will stay longer, perhaps scheduling more meetings per outing, said Rebecca Carriero, a spokeswoman for the trade group representing business travel managers.
“Business travelers will try to be more productive to maximize their time,” she said.
In 2012, business travel spending grew a modest 1.6%, reflecting caution by companies about splurging amid uncertainties caused by a presidential election, debate over the “fiscal cliff” and the storm that shut down much of the East Coast for several days.
“You did see companies wanting to see the results of the election and the ‘fiscal cliff’ debate,” Carriero said. “Companies were sort of holding their breath.”
Follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin