As immunization progresses and consumer confidence recovers, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) predicts a 21% increase in business travel spending in 2021. Most of this gain is expected to occur at the end of the year.
In 2022, the world's largest business travel association predicts a further acceleration in business travel - including a significant upturn in group meetings and international business travel.
In 2023, although annual growth in business travel spending is expected to slow somewhat, it is expected to remain well above historical average growth rates of 4.6%.
By the end of 2024, annual spending on business travel is expected to reach about $1.4 billion, which almost equates to the peak of $1.43 billion of pre-pandemic revenues in 2019.
The real return to pre-pandemic levels? The GBTA plans to do so by 2025.
The GBTA makes these forecasts as part of its BTI Outlook, a comprehensive annual study of business travel spending and growth covering 48 industries in 75 countries.
The impact of COVID on business travel in 2020
In addition to the following projections of business travel for 2021 and the years, this 12th edition of the BTI Outlook also provides a detailed analysis of the situation in 2020.
According to the Association, the true global financial impact of COVID-19 began in the second quarter of 2020.
For the period from April 1 to Dec. 31, 2020, COVID has resulted in lower estimated global spending on business travel by 68% (US $738 million).
For all of 2020, the decline in spending should be only 52% due to the relative strength of the first quarter of 2020 before the COVID-19.
In this regard, the GBTA recalls that until 2020, business travel had grown for ten consecutive years with an average growth rate of 5.1% per year.
“The pandemic has been devastating for business travel and it is clear that our industry will take some time to recover given the challenges we face on multiple fronts,” observes Dave Hilfman , Acting CEO of the GBTA.
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