Lancer Insurance
Friday, March 01, 2024

No longer stuck in a recovery phase, business travel leaders and providers are looking ahead at its evolution to reflect the monumental changes that have happened over the past three years. That is according to the Global Business Travel Association’s latest Business Travel Outlook Poll, which examines the intersection of the changing needs of travelers, the continued impact of rebuilding the workforce (especially within managed travel), as well as the airlines’ adoption of new model—New Distribution Capability (NDC)—that could directly affect those who book through managed travel. This may be a bit in the weeds for our industry, but just know that travel managers are either loving or hesitant about the adoption of NDC because it’s still a work in progress, with a full 20 percent of respondents unfamiliar with the model altogether. The poll explores this in greater detail, which you can read here.


According to report data, the global business travel industry is on its way to meeting an estimated $1.158 trillion in travel spending in 2023. However, there are challenges, especially due to the difficulty in securing staff, with 58 percent reporting that they continue to experience labor shortages or recruit challenges in some capacity. Sectors that respondents cite having the biggest challenges are hotels (59 percent), TMCs (43 percent), restaurants (37 percent), airports (28 percent), and aviation (27 percent). 

 Where Travel Spending Stands

  • Travel buyers estimate their companies’ current domestic business travel bookings have returned to 72 percent of 2019 pre-pandemic levels (up from 67 percent in GBTA’s January 2023 poll). Buyers also estimate their company’s current domestic business travel spend is 74 percent of 2019 levels (up from 68 percent in January).  
  • International business travel also continues to make its return. Travel buyers estimate their international bookings have recovered to 63 percent (up from 54 percent in January), and their current spending is back to 66 percent (up from 58 percent). 

Business Travel Experience Raises Concerns

  • When asked to rate their recent business travel experience, most respondents say it was somewhat (31 percent) or very (29 percent) pleasant. 
  • However, half of those surveyed say concerns about travel disruptions—such as canceled or delayed flights, long security lines, crowded airports, or long bag check lines—has somewhat (41 percent) or greatly (9 percent) reduced their willingness to travel for work. 
  • Travel managers most frequently hear business traveler complaints from employees about delayed (76 percent) or canceled (72 percent) flights, long call wait times with TMCs (62 percent) or travel suppliers (52 percent), and poor hotel service quality (46 percent). 

GBTA received a total of 803 responses from across North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific for the poll which was fielded April 10-21, 2023.

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