75+ Business Travel Statistics: Unveiling Facts and Trends [2024]

November 27, 2023 0 Comments

When it comes to business traveling, our brain buzzes with questions like who is an average traveler? How often do they travel? Is the business travel market growing? Was Covid a major setback? Has the industry recovered?

While the global business travel market was worth $700 billion in 2020, business travel accounted for 20% of total global travel in 2021. 

The global business market is expected to rise by a CAGR of 3% from 2020 to 2027

The business travel market is evergreen. 

Yes, Covid was a major setback, but Business Travel Statistics reveal that the industry is headed to recovery and rise by a  CAGR of 3% from 2020 to 2027.

Here we have unveiled the latest facts and statistics about Business Travel to help you understand the market and predict future trends. 

Top Business Travel Statistics: Editor’s Pick

there are 445 million business trips every year
  1. 63% of the average business travelers are male and almost 50% of them are aged between 35 to 54 years. [1]
  2. Millennials go on 7.4 business trips every year. [3]
  3. 70% of travel service providers reported New York is the most expensive business destination where a hotel costs an average of $376 per night. [4]
  4. The global business market is expected to rise by a CAGR of 3% from 2020 to 2027. [11]
  5. The global business travel market was worth $700 billion in 2020. [4]
  6. Business travel counted for 20% of total global travel in 2021. [4]
  7. 80% of corporate travelers make sure to squeeze in fun activities during business trips. [22]
  8. 73.2% of business travelers are concerned about delayed flights. [26]
  9. 60% of corporate travelers say they don’t feel the need for a company travel policy. [18]
  10. Airfares were 54% higher due to social distancing during the pandemic. [7]
  11. 1.3 million people travel for work every day in the US alone. [3]
  12. In terms of hotel costs, New York is the most expensive business travel destination. [4]
  13. Domestic travel by US travelers accounted for 462 million business trips in 2008 and 500 million in 2022. [18]

Business Travel Statistics Based on Demographics

Who are these business travelers?

Based on Gender

  • 63% of the average business travelers are male and almost 50% of them are aged between 35 to 54 years. [1]
  • Only 37% of business travelers are female. [1]
average business traveler by gender

Based on Age Group

  • 56% of millennials look for reasons to go on business trips. Moreover, 69% of millennials want to extend their trip for leisure. [3]
  • Millennials go on 7.4 trips every year. [3]
  • Gen X’s do leisure activities during business trips at 76%. [3]
  • Baby boomers perform leisure activities at 73%. [3]

Based on Education and Occupation

  • Over half of business travelers are in professional or managerial positions (56%). [1]
  • Business travelers make an average of $127k per year. [1]
  • 78% of business travelers prefer solo corporate trips. [1]
  • 66% of business travelers are graduates and hold bachelor’s degrees. [2]

How Covid has affected Business Travel

Business travel has always been a growing industry, but Covid was a major setback in the industry.

As of October 2021, 98% of companies’ business trips were canceled worldwide due to the Pandemic. [4]

International business travel experienced a huge decline of -70% in 2020. [6]

Also in October 2021, 8 out of 10 firms delayed international business travel. [4]

Due to the pandemic, business travel spending worldwide recovered by just 5.5% after having plummeted by about 50% in 2020. [4]

70% of travel service providers reported huge losses due to Covid-19. [4]

Deloitte, which is the second leading air travel spender in the US, spent more than $583 million on air travel in 2019. They only spent $97 million in 2020 due to Covid. [5]

During the pandemic, only 6% of people miss traveling for business, compared to 48% who miss traveling to spend quality time with family. [8]

Unlike popular opinion, business trips decreased by 60%, much more than leisure trips (24%). [10]

Business travel spending was reduced from 26% to 14% during Covid in the US. [10]

Airfares were 54% higher due to social distancing. 

Here we have reviewed the top three countries with major losses in business travel during Covid:

CountryAmount
China$404 billion
Europe$190.5 billion
Asia-Pacific$120.2 billion

Post-Pandemic Business Travel Statistics

Although the industry was forced to slow down due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic, the business travel market is expected to grow by 188% in 2028. [4]

The tourism market lost $1.4 trillion to 1.9 trillion in travel expenditure. [9]

35.2% of travel buyers believe that travel digitization increased after the pandemic. [4]

The economic slowdown in China and other sustainability problems across the globe are major reasons for the slow recovery of business travel post-COVID.  [4]

24% of respondents reported their company is considering returning to domestic travel in one to three months. [7]

The business travel industry boomed after the restrictions were removed in 2022 at a fine rate as expected. [11]

By 2026 the global business market is expected to touch $791.9 billion. And US market is expected to reach $231.4 billion by then. [11]

New York City is the most expensive business destination

30% of companies expect sustainability to cause an 11% to 25% deduction in travel budgets, by 2025. [14]

The Transportation segment of business travel is expected to grow by $101.9 billion by 2027. The notable economies US, Canada, Japan, China, and Europe are expected to drive the 1.4% CAGR.

The global business market is expected to rise by a CAGR of 3% from 2020 to 2027. [11]

The biggest amount lost in business travel was $404 billion by China. [12]

Hong Kong is Asia’s most expensive business travel location, with an average cost of $515 per day. [13]

The global business travel market was worth $700 billion in 2020. [4]

By 2028, the global business travel market is predicted to grow by 188%. [4]

Food and accommodation takes up the largest segment in business travel, projected to grow at 3.7% CAGR and hit $446.6 billion by the end of 2027. [11]

The business travel market in the US was $243.2 billion worth in 2020. [11]

China has the world’s second-largest economy, and its business travel market is predicted to grow $49.8 billion by 5.1% CAGR by 2027. [11]

Germany will grow with a CAGR of 2.4% by 2027.

Japan and Canada‘s business travel markets are predicted to grow at a rate of 2.2% and 3.1% respectively by the end of 2027. [11]

The Asia-Pacific region is forecasted to grow a $114.9 billion market share by 2027, with the topmost economies being Australia, India, and South Korea. [11]

rise in business travel expenditure

Business Travel Expenditure

Wondering, How much money is spent on business travel?

Are the bills too high? What costs more in business travel?

Go through these Business Travel spending statistics before planning your next trip:

In general, January, March, September to October are the most expensive times to travel. [15]

The highest business travel amounted to about $1.4 trillion in 2019. [14]

After facing a major setback due to Covid, business travel spending is going to recover to an all-time high of $1.4 trillion by mid-2016. [14]

Business travel counted for 20% of total global travel in 2021. [4]

Business travel expenditure is majorly divided into accommodation costs and transportation. Meals also make up a fair share of total expenditure.

spending during business trip

Expenditure on Accommodation

2015 hotel survey concludes that business travelers comprise 40% of hotel guests. [1]

In the same year, hotels generated $141.5 billion in business travel tax revenue alone. [1]

In 2029, meetings and conferences accounted for 18% of hotel gross bookings. [1]

In terms of hotel cost, New York is the most expensive business destination where a hotel costs an average of $376 per night. [4]

Almost half of the companies surveyed in 2022 don’t offer non hotel lodging reimbursement for their employees. [5]

12% of managers added the amenities for business events in hotels. [5]

Airbnb’s travel business tripled within the last few days. [16]

Now 60% of Airbnb bookings are for work, with almost all having more than one guest. 40% of them have three or more guests. [16]

Transportation Spending

50% of business travel expenditure went towards lodging and air transportation. [5]

Out of the total $334.2 billion was expended on $94 billion and $70 billion in air transportation. [14]

Other expenses include $66 billion for food and beverage, $22 billion for retail, $17 billion for fun activities, and $ 65 billion for transportation. [14]

21% of business travelers confirmed that their top priority while traveling is lowering their carbon footprint, while for 56% it is a moderate priority. [14]

Benefits and Importance of Business Travel

Wondering, How do you as an employer benefit from sending your employees on business trips?

90.6% of corporate travel managers confirmed that business travel is vital for company growth. [30]

Businesses earn a $2.90 increase in profit and a $9.50 increase in revenue for every dollar spent on corporate travel. [31]

79% of employees feel business trips impact their job satisfaction. [31]

83% of employees reported business travel is a job perk. [32]

Top Business Travel Destinations and Purpose

While one may believe that there is no specific destination when it comes to work. People travel anywhere and everywhere for work. 

But statistics conclude the opposite. Here we have listed popular business travel destinations:

  1. New York City is the most common destination. [17]
  2. Shanghai, Tokyo, Bangkok, Guangzhou, and New York are the fastest-growing destinations for business travel. [17]
  3. China and the US are top markets in terms of travel spend, with Germany, Japan, and the UK being next in line. [18]
  4. Domestic travel by US travelers accounted for $462 million in business trips in 2008 and $500 million in 2022. [18]
  5. Most trips are less than 250 miles away from workspace. [18]
  6. Only 7% or fewer destinations are more than 1k miles away from the office. [19]
  7. More than one-third of business travelers are Asians heading to America and Europe. [19]
  8. The US hosted 500 association events making it the topmost country for business meetings. [4]
  9. In 2021, Zurich ranked as the most expensive city for business travel with an average daily cost of $593. [4]
  10. In terms of hotel cost, New York is the most expensive business destination where a hotel costs an average of $376 per night. [4]
best rated business travel destinations

Purposes of Business Travel

43% of people in a survey stated that sales visits and conferences are the top two reasons for making international business trips in 2022. [5]

Leadership meetings (32%) and client-based projects (31%) are important reasons behind international trips. [5]

Business Travel Bleisure and Experience

Today’s corporate world follows the mantra, “ Rest as hard as one works.”

Extending business trips for leisure and making it bleisure is quite normal nowadays.

While companies may fear productivity, they support work-life balance.

Bleisure trips have increased by 20% since 2016. [20]

80% of corporate travelers make sure to squeeze in fun activities during business trips. [22]

Almost half of the corporate trips are extended for leisure. [21]

41% of business travelers admit to exploring new places and cultures while traveling for work. [20]

67% of modern travelers want brands to help them make good travel decisions based on previous travel information. [23]

What Does an Employee Expect on Bleisure from the Company?

  • 82% of travelers expect support from their superiors when taking a break on business trips. [21]
  • Employees want their companies to consider leisure for their travel policy. [21]
  • They want to include a budget for extracurriculars (74%) and give them the option to bring a guest on the trip (38%). [21]
  • They want flexibility with the schedule during business trips. [21]
  • 37% of employees wish that they should be given equal time for leisure as they work. [21]

Business Travel Policy and Management

Companies need to create their own policies so that their employees follow some business values and rules.

Curious to know, What a business travel policy looks like.

These are rules and standards about choosing hotels, car rentals, flights, leisure activities, budgets, and time spent doing work and leisure activities.

While many opt to save themselves from too much hard work over creating a policy, those who create one are highly benefited from it.

business travel policy

40% of businesses did not have a travel policy in 2018. [24]

60% of corporate travelers say they don’t understand the need for a company travel policy. [18]

Companies allow more than half of business travelers to book their trips according to their preferences.

27% of business travelers state that their company’s travel policy is ill-managed. [20]

69% of business travelers happily comply with corporate travel policies. [25]

Major Business Travel Concerns and Problems

  • 73.2% of business travelers are concerned about delayed flights. [26]
  • 43% of business travelers worry about limited airplane seat availability. [26]
  • 41% are concerned about earning frequent flier points. [26]
  • 25% worried about having no direct flights to their destination. [26]
  • 27% hate waiting time during traveling. [26]
  • 22% are tired from rides to and from the airport. [26]
major concerns for business travelers

What Role Does Technology Play in the Whole Scenario?

Want to accelerate the boring behind-the-scenes bookings and checking of your business trips? Join hands with technology!

Business trips are highly dependent on technology these days.

From augmented technology, voice assistance to AI all are coming together to make the process easy. And fintech has played a crucial role in enhancing the travel experience.

Do not worry, you do not need to be tech-savvy! 

Though most business travelers these days already are masters. Technology around business travel is simple.

51% of travelers use the internet to check in online. [27]

27% of global passengers use airline applications for bookings, last-minute purchases, and access. [27]

57% of modern travelers want to track their luggage in real-time with a mobile phone application. [28]

41% of travelers like voice assistance for their queries. [28]

66.5% of companies use online expense tracking and recording software. [29]

79% believe that VR tech for finalizing destination, lodging, and accommodation will be a norm in the coming five years. [29]

41% of travelers want agencies to use AI for providing travel suggestions. [28]

FAQs

What improvements do airlines need according to business travelers?

According to Business Travelers, airlines need to update their systems for real-time and accurate travel notifications. And provide automatic rebooking and voice assistance for travelers’ queries.

What are the most common problems business travelers face?

Business Travelers are bothered by various problems like delayed flights. 8% worry about limited airplane seat availability. 

41% are concerned about earning frequent flier points. And 16% find early or late departures and arrivals exhausting. 

Having no direct flights, and long rides to and from airports are also among the top problems.

What percentage of companies offer travel policies for business travel?

Though 60% of companies have travel policies, 31% of travelers do not follow them. And 27% reported their company had poor travel policy. Despite being majorly benefited, 60% of businesses across the globe do not feel the need for a travel policy.

Business travelers often book their accommodations out-of-the-policy for several reasons such as the location and the budget.

How much is the business travel industry worth?

Business travel has grown to an annual spend of $1.6 trillion by 2020. $1.3 trillion was spent on global business travel in 2017. $325 is the daily cost of corporate travel in the US. $1425 is spent for every employee sent on a trip. 

While the global business travel market was worth $700 billion in 2020, business travel accounted for 20% of total global travel in 2021. The business travel industry has an ever-growing market.

Wrapping Up

After going through business travel statistics we come to the conclusion that after facing a major setback due to the pandemic, global business travel is growing again. And is predicted to reach new heights in the near future. 

While the global business travel market was worth $700 billion in 2020, business travel accounted for 20% of total global travel in 2021. New York City is the most popular business travel destination and has the highest travel expenditure cost. 

Extending business trips for leisure and making it bleisure is quite normal nowadays as 80% of corporate travelers make sure to squeeze in fun activities during business trips.

Technology has accelerated the travel planning and booking process. With the incoming of AI and augmented tech, travelers are relieved and enjoying more leisure time, which they used to spend in arranging travel and queries.

Sources

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  7. GBTA. Corornavirus poll results
  8. Airbnb. 2021 will be the year of meaningful travel
  9. Mckinsey. The travel industry turned upside down
  10. US travel. Getting back to business
  11. ReportLinker. Global business travel industry
  12. Forbes. Airlines warn of 54% higher fares with social distancing
  13. ECA International. London ranked joint 10th most expensive location in the world for business trips.
  14. GBTA. Global Business Travel Spending is Coming Back
  15. Travel Pulse. Companies Spend $111.7 Billion Annually on Business Travel
  16. PhocusWire. Airbnb for work bookings triples
  17. Spendesk. 60+ fascinating business travel statistics for 2022
  18. TravelPerk. 100+ business travel statistics (some never before released)
  19. Dollarsprout. 28 Legit Online Jobs That Are Easy, Flexible, and Profitable
  20. Medium. The changing landscape of business travel 
  21. National Car Rental. National car rental 2018 state of business travel survey fact sheet
  22. Expedia Group Media Solutions. More than 40 percent of business trips are extended for leisure purposes
  23. Accenture. Personalized marketing index, the new travel experience
  24. Egencia. Advances in procurement technology and business travel
  25. Lola.com. 5 reasons your corporate travel policy needs regular review
  26. FinanceOnline. 105 Critical Business Travel Statistics
  27. IATA. IATA global passenger survey 2019
  28. Booking.com. 8 travel predictions for 2019
  29. Business Travel News. Technology trend watch
  30. TripActions & Skift. The state of business travel 2020
  31. Certify. The average cost of business travel.
  32. Stratos Jet Charters, Inc. Over 60 business travel statistics

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