Lancer Insurance
Friday, March 01, 2024

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is out with its latest poll—its 32nd in the series—surveying business travel professionals worldwide on what they expect in the coming months ahead, and the road looks good for continued recovery. However, the poll also identified areas where change might be coming throughout 2024, including cost management, sustainability (yup, it’s still a thing), and the continued integration of technology.

GBTA GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang

“With some exceptions, as an industry global business travel has continued to rebound over the past year and has made great strides in getting back to business as usual. As our latest GBTA poll outlines, ongoing challenges are expected, but there are optimistic indicators for an even stronger year ahead as organizations continue to leverage business travel and face-to-face connections as a critical part of their strategy to achieve important and ambitious objectives,” said GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang.

Some highlights of the poll:

  • Most industry stakeholders surveyed (84 percent) report their company’s business travel in 2023 has either largely (43 percent) or mostly (41 percent) recovered when compared to their 2019 levels.
  • Domestic business travel bookings stand at 76 percent (up from 72 percent in the April 2023 GBTA poll). On the international front, bookings reached 70 percent of their 2019 levels (up from 63 percent in April).
  • Respondents report domestic business travel spending has reached 77 percent of pre-pandemic levels, while international spend sits at 74 percent (up from 74 percent and 66 percent, respectively, from April).
  • Challenges: Respondents say the top barriers that affected their business travel in 2023 have included corporate budgets keeping up with price increases (69 percent), inflation/recession concerns (63 percent), and geo-political events (44 percent). Suppliers (67 percent) are more likely than buyers (59 percent) to say inflation/recession concerns are a significant barrier.
  • On a regional basis, stakeholders in Europe (54 percent) are more likely than in Asia-Pacific (23 percent), Latin America (23 percent) and North America (12 percent) to report climate impact concerns as a barrier. North America respondents (32 percent) are more likely than those in Europe (20 percent) to cite workforce hiring/retention as a significant barrier.
  • Meetings: Travel buyers report increases in their employees attending in-person meetings and conferences (55 percent), holding virtual meetings (52 percent), blending travel (50 percent) and “linking”(multi-purpose or multi-destination) business trips (49 percent) versus 2022.
  • Budgets: For 2024, 67 percent of travel buyers expect their travel budgets to increase (39 percent) or remain about the same (28 percent). Only one in ten (14 percent) buyers report they are currently implementing a plan to limit business travel because of economic concerns.
  • Cost Management: This remains a top strategic priority, with 62 percent of respondents emphasizing its importance for their company’s business travel program. Traveler safety (44 percent) and sustainability (37 percent) followed closely.

Poll results and highlights can be found here.

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