• Business Travel Moving Forward at Healthy Pace

     
    POSTED May 21, 2022
     
    Photo credit: Denver International Airport
  • Business Travel Moving Forward at Healthy Pace

     
    POSTED May 21, 2022
     
    Photo credit: Denver International Airport

The latest Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Business Travel Recovery Poll revealed that business travel is surging forward and international travel is returning alongside the challenges of rising fuel prices, inflation, supply chain disruption, and the war in Ukraine. In addition, corporate travel policies are undergoing a revamp, and a large majority of employees indicate they are willing to travel for business. 

The conclusions are from an online flash poll of GBTA members and non-members worldwide from April 4-12, 2022, with 520 corporate travel managers and travel suppliers responding. GBTA has been regularly surveying business travel buyers, suppliers, and other stakeholders around the world since the pandemic began to take the pulse of the industry. The results of past polls can be found here.  

April Survey Highlights

  • When asked to characterize their company’s spending on business travel compared to 2019, on average respondents expect their company will be back to 59% of pre-pandemic spend by the end of 2022 and 79% by the end of 2023. 
  • A majority (88%) of suppliers and travel management companies report their bookings have increased in the prior month. This is much higher than the share who said the same in February (45%). 
  • International travel made a big jump with 74% reporting their company now allows it, up 26 percentage points from February. 
  • Of the companies who previously cancelled or suspended most or all trips to a specific region/country, 75% plan to resume domestic travel and 52% will restart international travel in the next one to three months. 
  • One in five respondents (20%) report they have canceled or suspended most or all domestic business travel, compared to 33% in February.  
  • Four in ten (41%) say their company’s return to the office directly correlates to the return to business travel.
  • Nine in ten (94%) GBTA buyers and procurement professionals say employees are “willing” or “very willing’ to travel for business in the current environment, up from 82% in the February poll.
  • Many companies are increasing business travel spend in the wake of inflation. Forty-one percent report they have increased employee travel spending for air travel, 34% for hotel stays, 33% for car rentals, and 26% for ride share and taxis.  

“We’re seeing significant gains in the return of business travel, especially over the past month or two. GBTA’s global data shows more companies are allowing domestic and now also international employee travel,” says GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang. “Booking levels and travel spending continue to return, and there’s high levels of optimism and employee willingness to travel for business.”  

The hospitality and meetings and events industries are known for their generosity. Even after a couple of tough years courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping others has remained a priority. Here are a few examples from around the country. 

 

On May 4, Knowland, a provider of meetings and events intelligence data, released its monthly report for April 2022. The data showed a significant increase in meetings activity, with a 323% increase over April 2021, including a 3.7% recovery of events from March to April 2022.

Additional information included:

•     In April 2022, the average number of attendees per event was 118, compared to 63 in April 2021 and 74 in April 2019.

 

Meetings & Events Pulse Survey also reveals that a majority of companies are currently hiring.