GBTA Poll Shows Business Travel Rebound In 2023

The latest GBTA Business Travel Outlook Poll found that most professionals in global business travel say the sector has reached near-full recovery since the pandemic and their top areas of focus for the year ahead include travel cost management, sustainability, retailing models, and emerging technologies.

Insights from 865 global business travel industry professionals across 46 countries are included in the poll and key takeaways include:

  • 84% report their company’s business travel in 2023 has largely or mostly recovered compared to 2019.
  • Top barriers for business travel in 2023 include corporate budgets keeping up with price increases (69%), inflation/recession concerns (63%), and geo-political events (44%).
  • In 2023, buyers report increases in their employees attending in-person meetings and conferences (55%), holding virtual meetings (52%), blending travel (50%) and “linking” (multi-purpose or multi-destination) business trips (49%) versus 2022.
  • For 2024, 67% of travel buyers expect their travel budgets to increase (39%) or remain about the same (28%).
  • Cost management stands out as a top strategic priority, with 62% of respondents emphasizing its importance for their company’s business travel program.
  • 63% plan to ramp up their investment in technology, and 46% feel new industry technologies, such as NDC, will pose the most significant technology challenges. Other areas of investment include sustainability initiatives (45%) and partnerships and alliances (40%).
  • The industry remains split on artificial intelligence (AI) for the coming year, with 32% reporting being excited about AI, while another third (33%) feel it’s too early to predict its full impact.

Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA, observed that: “As this 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.”

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