Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), has released the results of its latest business travel index – the BTI™ Outlook. The annual study of business travel spending and growth covers 73 countries across 44 industries.
It shows global business travel activity has begun its recovery. After declining 53.8% in 2020 to $661 billion, global expenditures are expected to have rebounded 14% in 2021 - more slowly than forecast in GBTA’s previous BTI Outlook report issued in February of this year.
A year-over-year surge of 38% is expected in 2022 as recovery and pent-up demand kicks into a higher gear, bringing global business travel spending back to over $1 trillion.
Recovery will continue into 2023, with global spending rising 23% year-over-year as more international and group travel comes back online.
By 2024, global business travel is forecast to have made a full recovery, ending the year at $1.48 trillion or just above the 2019 pre-pandemic spend of $1.4 trillion.
However, persistent Covid-related threats and disruptions, supply chain strains, labour shortages, rising inflation, increased costs, and lagging recovery in Asian markets are risks for continued on-target recovery.
Yet to be determined are the impacts of emerging factors including broad adoption of remote working models, long term cuts or elimination of business trips and travel volume, and the increased focus on sustainability practices and policies for business travel.
Suzanne Neufang, CEO for GBTA says the business travel industry recognises factors, related to Covid-19 and beyond, that could impact the road ahead over the coming years. ‘However, there is optimism overall as the industry, companies and travellers worldwide lean into recovery and the much-needed return to business travel.’