October 09, 2009
The Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BTR) was a major sponsor of the Baton Rouge Business Reportís 2009 BizTech Expo, held at the River Center on October 7-8. The BizTech Expo is one of the largest business-to-business expositions of its kind in the Gulf Region.
"The support of business travelers is vital to the success of the airport,Ē said Marketing & Air Service Development Manager, Jim Caldwell. "The BizTech Expo provided us with a great opportunity to have face-to-face encounters with many of these customers, particularly those from smaller companies.Ē
In addition to participating in business events such as this, representatives from Airport Administration meet quarterly with members of the BTR Corporate Advisory Committee. Travel Managers participating on the committee include the Shaw Group, Albemarle, Amedisys, Turner Industries, LA State Travel Office, Lamar Advertising, Blue Cross Blue Shield of LA, LSU, and Southern University among others. Committee members provide valuable input, and can assist in the recruitment of new air service for BTR.
With the support of the business community in the Greater Baton Rouge Area, BTR can provide airlines with the consistent passenger volume needed to justify frequent jet service. A growing business passenger market is also critical in the airportís efforts to secure expanded airline service for BTR. Although business travel in the U.S. is down about 12% through the first half of 2009, business travel is still a necessity for most companies. Volume is expected to pick up in 2010.
A recent study conducted by global research firm Oxford Economics shows a link between business travel and business growth. Results indicate a strong relationship between a company's investment in business travel (client visits, trade shows, conferences, incentive and sales meetings, etc.) and its profitability. Every dollar invested in business travel results in businesses experiencing an average of $12.50 in increased revenue and $3.80 in new profits, according to the findings. The study represents the first time that the ROI of business travel has been measured successfully.
In the U.S., business travel is responsible for $246 billion in spending and 2.3 million American jobs. Over $100 billion of this spending and nearly 1 million American jobs are linked to meetings and events, according to the U.S. Travel Association. For BTR, our partnership with the business community will facilitate our growth and continued importance as a major economic engine for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Area.