Global business travel spending is expected to increase by more than a quarter this year and reach two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels by 2022, according to a new report from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) released in collaboration with McKinsey & Company titled ‘Adapting to Endemic Covid-19: Prospects for Business Travel’.
Looking at this year and next, WTTC data shows which regions of the world are leading the recovery in business travel, leading the Middle East where business spending is expected to increase by 49 % this year, higher than leisure spending at 36%, followed by a 32% increase next year.
Business spending in Asia-Pacific is expected to increase 32% this year and 41% next year, while Europe is expected to see a 36% increase this year, followed by a 28% increase year-on-year. next. Africa, ahead of the Americas, will see its spending increase by 36% this year, slightly stronger than spending on leisure, followed by a 23% increase next year. Spending on business travel is expected to increase 14% this year in the Americas and 35% in 2022.
The report details how global travel spending declined significantly from 2019 to 2020, due to COVID-19 and ongoing restrictions on international mobility. It draws on in-depth research, analysis and interviews with travel and tourism business leaders to enable organizations to prepare for business travel in the post-pandemic world.
To accelerate the recovery of business travel, the report recommends that companies adjust their revenue models, expand their geographic focus and improve digital services. The common challenge of restoring business travel will also depend on continued collaboration and partnerships between the private and public sectors and nurturing new relationships.
The WTTC report also shows significant changes over the past 18 months, particularly in demand, supply and the overall operating environment affecting business travel. Demand for business travel has been slower to recover as leisure policies and corporate policies continue to influence demand for business travel based on national travel restrictions.
The WTTC believes that while business travel will return, its uneven recovery will have significant implications for the global travel and tourism industry, making public-private partnerships even more important in the months and years to come.