Associations, companies and experts expect 2022 will be a good year for business travel. Let’s see what the numbers say in this regard.
The pandemic outbreak brought the entire travel sector to an abrupt stop. Since then, a lot has been said regarding when pre-pandemic levels are expected to be reached in one of the most important businesses in the world.
Leisure travel was the first sector to recover. According to data from Exceltur, the travel sector in Spain closed 2021 with 88 billion EUR of activity; about 7.5% of the GDP. In this year 2022, sales are expected to reach 135 billion EUR. In fact, some companies in the travel industry are already seeing pre-pandemic turnover figures.
What about business travel?
Even though technology has allowed us to remain connected to the world, the truth is that business travel is still a requirement for companies. In contrast to some opinions expecting this segment would disappear, experts predict that 2022 will be a pivotal year for the business travel segment.
According to the latest survey conducted by Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), 75% of travel managers believe the volume of business travel in 2022 will be the same or a bit higher than the previous years. Likewise, specialized companies also expect their income to increase this year. The same association expects a full recovery to occur in 2024, when pre-pandemic levels will be exceeded.
What do corporate travelers want?
Employees still prefer face to face meetings. In fact, according to this report by Amadeus, 75% of travelers have indicated they expect to travel in 2022.
Even though the use of the word “bleisure” (a blend of the words “business” and “leisure”) had become fashionable, the trend is now evolving towards using “workcation” (a blend of the words “work” and “vacation”). This means that business trips will be longer and business meetings will be combined with wellness activities. In fact, 1 out of every 3 corporate travelers indicate they would like to include a leisure activity in their business trips, as explained by the BBC.
In this sense, data from Amadeus has shown how the duration of the trips have increased compared to 2020.
Technology for users but also for companies
Technology has also played a key role throughout the pandemic. Contactless, artificial intelligence, online check-in, VCCs and even online communication are now essential tools for companies in the travel industry as well as travelers.
In this sense, companies in the travel industry have had time to analyze and restore their internal processes to become more efficient once the business volume returns to normal levels. For this reason, new technological solutions are being adopted, such as Payment Manager, to digitize and optimize processes that were highly inefficient before the pandemic such as B2B payments. Companies have understood that in order to emerge stronger from the crisis, they need to apply technology to all their processes and not only to those related with the end user.
In conclusion, the sector is ready. Everything indicates that 2022 will be the year when we will stop reporting negative figures and begin reporting corporate travel growth prospects in green. Business Travel will return in full force.