Business Climate, Travel Improving: Loews Exec

The U.S. business economy is improving and with it business travel, said Jonathan Tisch, co-chairman of Loews.

Service bell at hotel reception
Louis Fox | Digital Vision | Getty Images
Service bell at hotel reception

He told CNBC that while the rising price of gasoline might put a damper on vacation travel it is having less of an effect on business travel, at least at Loew's hotels.

"The business at the high end is doing well," Tisch said. "We’re getting back to those pre-2008 numbers. You look in New York City there were 15 million visitors last year" of which 18 percent came from foreign destinations.

"We feel good about what’s happening in the city. Across the country if you break down the business travel, it is picking up again," he added. The CEOs of publicly traded companies have "done a good job in getting their balance sheets in order" last year and are now "letting their people back on the road."

The business climate is improving, he said, and companies know that if they want to expand, they have to hire more people who will have to do more traveling. He believes 2012 will be "a good year" for his company and the U.S. economy, although he added one caveat.

"We live in a scary world," he said. "Look at the Middle East. Look at the euro zone. Who knows what can tip that balance?"

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