Business travel industry drives jobs, GDP growth in Canada

GBTA Foundation report reveals business travel impact on Canadian economy and jobs

A new report issued today by the GBTA Foundation at GBTA Conference 2015 Toronto highlights the positive economic impact that road warriors have on the nation’s economy and explores the quantitative impact business travel has on the Canadian economy. The study, sponsored by Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), reveals business travel spending in Canada in 2013 reached $23.5 billion, making it responsible for 1.5 per cent of Canadian GDP.

business travel growth in CanadaThe impact study also found businesses sent travellers on the road in Canada for 35.8 million trips. The business travel industry supports 434,000 jobs, $16.9 billion in wages and salaries and also generates $8.6 billion in taxes.

“Business travel drives business growth, and these numbers show business travel matters when it comes to positively impacting the economy,” said Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation Vice President of Research. “Nothing can replace face-to-face interactions when it comes to getting business done, so it comes as no surprise the huge impact the business travel industry has on the nation’s economy.”

“As one of the world’s leading hotel companies, IHG is closely attuned to the needs of our business travellers,” said Tiziana Fathers, Director of Global Sales Canada, IHG. “The results of the GBTA Report further illustrate not only trends in business travel but the important role business travellers have on our nation’s economy.”

More study highlights include:

  • In 2013, business travellers in Canada spent an average of $656 per trip including $131 on lodging, $75 on airfare, $12 on rental cars, $100 on food and beverage in restaurants and $8 on entertainment. The majority (80 per cent) of these business trips are taken by car.
  • Business travel in Canada contributed $27.2 billion in Canadian GDP – essentially every dollar spent on business travel generated about $1.16 in GDP.
  • More than 60 per cent of all business trips in Canada were either to or within Ontario or Quebec with Toronto and Montreal leading the way as the two most popular destination markets within those provinces. The next most popular destination in 2013 was Alberta followed by British Columbia.
  • Of the 2.6 million international inbound trips to Canada, more than three-quarters of those travellers arrived from the United States.
  • Canadian business travellers are likely to be mid-career (age 35-55) and be employed in a managerial position. Business travellers have an average annual household income of $102,329; nearly 70 per cent are men and 57 per cent are married.

More Information

The report, The Canadian Business Travel Industry: Business Travel’s Impact on Jobs and the Canadian Economy in 2013 is free of charge to all GBTA Members by clicking here. Non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing [email protected].

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