Business travel fuels Canada's economy

As more people head to the Great White North for professional engagements, business travel is becoming an increasingly significant player in the Canadian economy. According to a report presented by the Global Business Travel Association at the GBTA Conference 2015 Toronto, business travel accounted for 1.5 percent of the Canadian GDP in 2013. 

About 35.8 million people went on business trips to Canada in 2013. The business travel industry helps support 434,000 Canadian jobs, almost $17 billion in salaries and $8.6 billion in taxes. People traveling throughout Canada for professional purposes spent an average of $656 each trip, including the following breakdowns: $131 on hotels, $75 for flights, $12 for rental cars, $8 for entertainment and $100 in restaurants. 

While many of the business travelers were Canadian themselves, eliminating the need for airfare and even hotels, the study revealed that the nation also played host to a number of international visitors. About 2.6 million business professionals from around the world came to Canada for a variety of engagements. Over 75 percent of these travelers hailed from the U.S. 

Business travelers making their way around Canada tend to be mid-career, between the ages of 35 and 55. They usually hold some type of managerial position and make an average of $102,329 per year. Their high-income statuses contribute to their willingness to spend money while traveling, which helps fuel this growing sector of the Canadian economy. 

The most popular Canadian destinations for business travel were Ontario and Quebec, which saw 60 percent of all business trips in 2013. Within these regions, Toronto and Montreal saw the most business-oriented guests. 

"Business travel drives business growth and these numbers show business travel matters when it comes to positively impacting the economy. 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," stated Joseph Bates, GBTA vice president of research, at the conference.