Tapping into the trends shaping corporate travel in 2024

A new survey commissioned by World Travel Protection (WTP) and conducted by Opinium, reports increased enthusiasm for travel along with ongoing safety concerns.

With the global travel landscape continuing to be disrupted by geopolitical tensions, socioeconomic disparities, natural disasters, and other factors, the survey still found that more business travellers are happy to be traveling again.

With the global pandemic, seemingly in the rear-view mirror, more business travellers say they are happy to be travelling for work this year than last. While only one-third of business travellers indicated they were happy to be travelling for work in 2023 (US 33%, CAN 36%), almost half say they are happy to be traveling in 2024 (US 44%, CAN 48%).

Perhaps as a result of this heightened enthusiasm, the number, length, and duration of business trips have also increased, with half of business travellers saying they went on more trips in 2023 than in 2022 (US 54%, CAN 48%), and many noting these trips were longer in duration (US 48%, CAN 40%) and included more meetings per trip (US 54%, CAN 43%).

Frank Harrison, Regional Security Director Americas, WTP, said that: “It’s encouraging to see growth in the number of business travelers who say they enjoy the experience, especially given the challenges of recent years. The personal connections made through business travel remain absolutely vital in fostering creativity and innovation and propelling industries forward.”

Other key findings of the survey include:

  • Remote work has reinforced the value of in-person meetings — six in 10 say traveling for business has become more important since they’ve started working from home.
  • Safety is a concern amidst war and global upheaval — the vast majority would decline a trip if they didn’t feel their employer prioritizes their safety and well-being.
  • Budget cuts are also fueling safety concerns — three-fifths are concerned that safety could be compromised if budget is the chief travel booking criteria.
  • Travellers want employers to do more to keep them safe — more than half say their employer could do more to keep them safe.