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Pack Your Suitcase: Business-Travel Budgets on the Rise The Global Business Travel Association upped its estimate for business travel this year.

By Catherine Clifford

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Instead of picking up the phone, this might be the time to hit the road to find new clients and check in with existing ones.

Business travelers from the U.S. are expected to spend $273.3 billion in 2013, according to an estimate published today from the Global Business Travel Association, a non-profit trade group that tracks business travel and corporate meeting expenditures. That represents an upward revision from the previous forecast of $268.5 billion.

Related: The Hotel Room Workout: 5 Exercises When You Can't Get to the Gym

The new 2013 estimate amounts to a 4.3 percent increase over business-travel spending in 2012. This increase outpaces inflation, showing that greater spending on travel is not just due to rising prices, according to the report. The GBTA attributes the uptick in business-travel spending to improvements in the U.S. economy, job market and consumer confidence.

The majority of money spent on business travel is within the U.S. Only $33.1 billion, or about one-tenth of the total, is expected to be spent on international business travel in 2013, according to the report, representing an increase of 3 percent over the previous year.

"The rise in domestic business-travel spending is a positive sign of increasing business confidence and bodes well for future employment growth," says Michael W. McCormick, executive director and chief operating officer of GBTA.

Related: What to Pack When You Live on Amtrak

Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

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