Business travel is an integral part of completing the company’s work; this includes taking national or international trips with the intention and schedule to complete such business. This includes attending meetings, conferences and product launches that are relevant to your company’s work. When you travel for business, your company will cover all the costs, from accommodation to transportation, and any extra money you might spend in relation to finishing the company’s business will be refunded back to you after you return.
The Business travel statistics in this article will put this form of travelling into perspective, especially how the Covid-19 pandemic affected it and how the global market is bouncing back.
Business Travel Statistics: General Statistics
You can understand the effect of business travel by looking at one statistic, more than 1.5 million people in the US travel every day for business.
- When calculating the percentage of business travel vs leisure travel, business travel represents only 20%.
- Ninety-two per cent of global business trips were cancelled in 2020 as a result of Covid-19 precautionary measures.
- In 2020, the pandemic caused the loss of more than $700 billion in spending.
- Business travel expenses include several elements; accommodation takes the lead with 34% of the cost, followed by airfare, meals and car rental with 27%, 20% and 19%, respectively.
- Sixty-three per cent of business travellers are men, 50% of which are between the ages of 35 and 54.
- The US and Canada topped the list of the best worldwide business travel destinations.
- Twenty-one per cent of travellers for business believe that sustainability is a top priority, while 56% of travellers give it moderate consideration.
- Nearly 38% of worldwide businesses cancelled their business trips in October 2021.
Business Travel Statistics: Tourism Statistics
Travelling for business is one of the pillars of the tourism industry and contributes greatly to the growth of this market worldwide.
- Only 12% of airline passengers are travelling for business; however, they are responsible for 75% of airlines’ profits.
- In April 2020, 98% of the Global Business Travel Association member countries cancelled international trips, and 92% cancelled domestic trips.
- Online bookings are the fastest way to book travel accommodation, with booking from the hotel’s website at 28%. Employing a travel agent comes in second with 14%, followed by an online travel agency and third-party bookings with 10% and 7%, respectively.
Business Travel Statistics: The Global Market
After mass and unpredictable cancellations of business trips worldwide, the market for business travelling is still fluctuating. The market’s growth levels are expected to soar in the next five years.
- At the end of 2022, the global market of business travelling stood at $742.9 billion. By 2030, this value is expected to reach $1964.1 billion. By 2028, 188% is the expected growth of the business travel market.
- The travel market, in general, is expected to have fully recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic effects in the next seven years.
- Food and accommodations are expected to grow by 3.7% by 2027 and reach the equivalent of $446.6 billion.
- In the US, the business travel market was estimated at $243.2 billion.
- The business travel market in China is expected to grow by 5.1% by 2027 to reach the equivalent of $49.8 billion.
- Canada’s business travel market is expected to grow by 3.1% between 2020 and 2027.
- Germany’s business travel market is expected to grow by 2.4% between 2020 and 2027.
- Japan’s business travel market is expected to grow by 2.2% between 2020 and 2027.
- Transportation as part of business travel in the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and China is expected to reach $101.9 billion by 2027.
- By 2027, the transportation segment as part of travelling for business in Latin America will grow by 1.8%.
Business Travel Statistics: Spending
Some business trips have an average budget set for them, and additional expenses may or may not be refunded, depending on the business’s policy.
- Business travel expenditures accounted for 20% of the global expenditures of the same field in 2021.
- Business travel spending was at its highest before the pandemic, at $1.4 trillion. The market is expected to reach this volume again by mid-2026.
- There was more than $700 billion less spending in 2020 due to the pandemic.
- Travelling for business spending gained more than 34% at the end of 2022.
- Global travelling for business spending was at its highest in China, with $295 billion in 2021. China was also the country strongly hit by decreased expenditures due to the pandemic, losing $404 billion.
- Europe lost more than $190 billion in expenditures due to the pandemic.
- Domestic travel in America after the pandemic helped business travel expenditures gain momentum again and is expected to reach 23.4% growth by 2026.
- The Asia-Pacific region began to recover after the pandemic, with a 16.5% increase in expenditures, amounting to $407.1 billion. This recovery represents 60% of the pre-pandemic levels.
- Travelling between January and March and then between September and October costs more than other months of the year.
Business Travel Statistics: Travellers
A business traveller can hold any position in the business, from the managerial to the average employee.
- Managers and professionals make up more than half of business travellers worldwide.
- If you travel for business, you must know that your average yearly salary is $127,000.
- College graduates represent more than half, 66%, of business travellers.
- Seventy-eight per cent of total business travellers travel alone.
- Ninety-five per cent of business travellers make accommodation, transportation and other travel reservations.
Business Travel Statistics: Destinations
Do business travellers prefer certain countries or locations to visit when on a business trip? These statistics hold the answers.
- The US and Canada topped the list as the most favourite business travel destinations in 2021.
- In third place came Japan, followed by China and the UK in fifth place.
- The US held the largest number of business meetings in 2021, holding more than 500 meetings.
- Spain and Japan followed next, each holding more than 360 meetings in 2021.
- The US tops the list of planned meetings and events, 33 thousand events planned in one year, from May 2022 to the end of April 2023.
- The UK comes in second with 6.4 thousand events planned during the same period.
- The world’s most expensive destination city in the last quarter of 2021 was Zurich, with a daily average of $593.
- Tokyo came in second with an average of $517 per day.
- The world’s most expensive hotel room for business travellers is in New York, with an average of $376 per night.
Business Travel Statistics: Travel Reasons
A business trip can have one or more purposes, from travelling as a sales manager to attending product launches.
- Sales visits are one of the top reasons 43% of business travellers had to go on international trips in 2022.
- Leadership meetings came in second place with 32%, followed by client-based projects with 31%.
- Only 15% of those surveyed stated that attending conferences was one of the two top reasons for international business trips.
Business Travel Statistics: What Your Employees Get from Travelling?
A chance to travel at the expense of work is definitely a good one, but what exactly does this mean for your employees?
- Twenty-eight per cent of employees who travelled for business for their company stated their company aimed for travel satisfaction as it sent them for the trip.
- On the other side, managers confessed that travel satisfaction concerned them by 13% only.
- Forty-one per cent of employees who travelled for business stated their company’s main goal was to save costs, more than achieving travel satisfaction. While 38% of those employees stated both reasons have the same significance, 21% said employee satisfaction is the top priority.
- Thirty-eight per cent of business travellers expressed their dissatisfaction with their company’s travel technology.
- Forty-six per cent of employees stated that their favourite travel perk is booking with their desired travel agencies and suppliers.
- Forty-three per cent of employees stated their favourite travel perk is staying an extra night after finishing the company’s agenda.
- Thirty-nine per cent of employees would rather choose another booking option than the company’s available agencies.
- Thirty-nine per cent of employees confessed they found that their company paying for leisurely expenditures during business travel desirable.
- On the other side, 84% of managers stated they unwillingness to pay for leisurely expenses during a business trip.
- Eighty-three per cent of employees consider that travelling for business is a perk itself and even a higher percentage, 79%, stated that this affects job satisfaction.
- Sixty per cent of job applicants review the company’s business travel policy and program before applying.
- Two out of five millennials declared that the ability to travel as part of the job description influences their decision to apply.
Business Travel Statistics: Travelling as a Means to Achieve Sustainability
As a business owner, you have a duty to pursue and apply sustainability measures, including having clear guidelines for your employees while on a business trip.
- Seventy-seven per cent of business travellers choose to save material and time that could be spent on daily hotel room cleaning.
- There are further sustainability measures that business travellers apply often. Seventy-three per cent will opt for using smaller cars, 68% will fly economically more, 63% prefer to travel less for business, and 56% said they’d rather elongate a business trip to get more done rather than splitting it into two.
- As more businesses strive to apply sustainability measures, 30% of them expect this will cause business travel spending to decrease by 11% to 25% by 2025.
Business Travel Statistics: Accommodation Statistics
Accommodation represents the highest cost in business travelling. This field will widen to include providing hotel bookings to hold possible events and conferences.
- Eighteen per cent of total hotel bookings in 2018 were for conference purposes.
- Forty per cent of total travellers booking hotel rooms were business travellers in 2015.
- Hotels benefited from business travel tax in 2015 by generating $141.5 billion.
- Corporates choose hotel bookings as the primary option for lodgings; 9% only would consider alternatives.
- If you choose not to stay at a hotel during your business trip, you’re likely not to get a refund from your company, as stated by more than half of business owners in 2022.
- Twelve per cent of travel managers succeeded in persuading hotel management to add amenities to their conference bookings, while 10% of travel managers failed to do so.
- AIRBNB tripled its gains after relaunching as AIRBNB for Business. This growth doubled when more than 700,000 companies used the website in 2017.
Business Travel Statistics: Employing Technology for Your Trip
Employing technology for your business trip starts at the reservation stage and includes the tools that managers give employees access to.
- Twenty-six per cent of travel managers said that employees with accessibility needs that will go on a business trip will find the company’s booking tool beneficial. While 37% of those managers stated, they were uncertain if the company’s booking tool would be any help to employees with accessibility needs.
- Seventy-eight per cent of business travellers would like to benefit from loyalty points and receive personalised travel recommendations.
- Seventy-eight per cent of employees travelling for work expressed their desire to have more options of ground transportation.
Business Travel Statistics: Present and Future Outlook
Travelling for businesses received a huge blow during the pandemic. As the sector works to bounce back, there’s hope it will bounce back stronger than pre-pandemic.
- Eighty-five per cent of business travellers expressed that the success of their goals largely depends on their ability to travel.
- Seventy-five per cent of business travellers expect an increase in business trips in 2023.
- Eighty-four per cent of finance professionals predict that 2023 will witness an increase in business travel spending.
- Seventy-three per cent of business travellers expressed their fear that inflation will have a direct impact on business travelling.
- Sixty-nine per cent of business travellers agreed, with 75% of financial executives fearing that the recession will adversely affect business travelling.
- Forty-six per cent of employees are excited to get back to the same number of business trips as before the pandemic, while 35% expressed their desire for more trips.
The opportunity to go on a business trip is an interesting experience, one we advise you to take to add more expertise to your repertoire.