Strong, but challenging 2024 anticipated for business travel

With the pandemic in the rearview, the global business travel industry is riding a wave of momentum at the start of 2024.

In a new Business Travel Outlook Poll conducted by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), a majority of travel buyers report increases in bookings and spending for 2023 and expect this year-over-year growth trend to continue as they also prioritize sustainable travel in their organizations.

In fact, close to 60 per cent of travel buyers expect more travel in the coming year, with two-thirds anticipating increases in business travel spending.

Challenges ahead

But industry professionals are also expecting challenges ahead, citing rising travel costs, overall economic uncertainties, lagging corporate budgets and travel disruptions among their top concerns.

And almost half of travel buyers say the adoption of remote and hybrid workplace models has prompted them to revamp their employee travel policies and programs. More than 700 travel professionals from 41 countries participated in this 33rd poll in GBTA’s long-running series.

“The business travel industry has ushered in a new chapter and moved beyond the pandemic. As companies and travellers continue to embrace the vital role of in-person connection for business, there are strong indicators for continued growth in travel volume and spending in 2024,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA. “This bodes well for the future of our industry and its professionals – even as we navigate new challenges of ‘travel for work,’ continue to advocate for sustainable options, and evolve business travel programs so they’re fit for purpose.”

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