Business travel spending on the rise, future looks bright

According to the GBTA Business Travel Index Outlook, expected spending on business travel across Europe is steadily increasing due to pent-up demand, hybrid work environments, the return of travel and meetings and more stable economic conditions.

After a slower regional rebound over the last few years, business travel spending in Europe is expected to surpass its pre-pandemic spending level of $391.9 billion USD in 2025, when spending is forecast to reach $414.9 billion. This is later than the forecast for global business travel recovery, which is expected to reach $1.5 trillion in 2024 and grow to nearly $1.8 trillion by 2027.

The 2023 GBTA Business Travel Index Outlook (BTI) report is published by the Global Business Travel Association in collaboration with Visa.

Its latest regional forecasts and findings take a deep dive into business travel spending and trends in Europe for 2023 to 2027.

In 2021, Europe was the only region where business travel spending declined. However, Europe’s business travel spending made up lost ground in 2022, growing to 93.5% over the past year, achieving the highest growth rate of any region in the world.

The outlook varies across the region, with Western Europe accounting for 88% of Europe’s business travel spend. This share has grown as the war in Ukraine continues to take its toll on Emerging Europe. While Western Europe recovered 71% of its pre-pandemic travel spend last year, Emerging Europe had only recovered to 57%.

Catherine Logan, GBTA Regional Senior Vice President, EMEA and APAC, said that: “Business travel spend in Europe continues to grow at a steady rate and is forecast to reach $449.9 billion in 2027. But organizations and their business travellers and programs are also adjusting to new changes. The hybrid work environment has brought with it new challenges.”

Logan continued: “As firms and employees appreciate the benefit of in-person connections, we are seeing more travel related to internal meetings and training purposes. Additionally, sustainable travel options continue to be a key driver and multi-modal trips now account for almost a third of recent business trips. As a region, Europe is leading the way in offering alternative, more sustainable solutions.”

For more on the 2023 GBTA Business Travel Index Outlook report, CLICK HERE.