U.S. business travel spending is now expected to rise 7.1% in 2014to $293.3 billion, a substantial upgrade from the 6.6% growth to $289.8 billion GBTA predicted last quarter. Total person-trip volume is expected to increase 2.0% to 464.7 million trips, according to the GBTA BTI™Outlook– United States 2014 Q1, a report from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) sponsored by Visa, Inc. - GBTA’s forecast upgrade will be fueled by strong investment in international outbound travel spending, which is now expected to increase 12.9% to $37.2 billion – up from 12.5% growth forecasted in Q4. - GBTA’s outlook for group travel was also revised to increase 7% in 2014 to $126 billion– up from the 6.5% growth GBTA predicted last quarter. “As the spring thaw gets into full swing businesses are feeling more confident, with pent-up demand to get their employees back on the road,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “Business travel growth is a leading indicator of job growth, and we’ve seen this play out in previous quarters as the private sector has finally regained all of the jobs lost during the recession. Today’s forecast suggests that this measured but steady improvement should continue.” “According to the BTI forecast, business travel in the U.S. will see strong gains in 2014, fueled by outbound international business travel,” said Tad Fordyce, SVP, Global Commercial Solutions for Visa. “As more employees travel globally, organizations that use electronic payments have a convenient and secure way to pay for business travel expenses no matter where they travel in the world.” Get the full story at GBTA