Business Travel Statistics (2023)


Business travellers contribute substantially to the travel industry worldwide. We summarised everything from the average business travel spending to employee behaviour towards corporate travel. Whether you’re going on a trip for work or something else, these are some powerful statistics. 


What is Considered Business Travel?

Business travel includes any domestic or international trip taken by employees to complete corporate-related events. For example, meetings, client works, trade shows, conferences, and product launches. 


Business travel spending comprises all aspects of the trip, from accommodation and transportation to entertainment. 


How Big is the Business Travel Market?

The global business travel market was worth $700 billion in 2020. 


What Percentage of Travel is Business Vs Leisure?

In 2021, business travel accounted for 20% of the total global travel and tourism expenditure. 


Is The Business Travel Industry Growing?

Yes, the business travel market is predicted to grow by 188% in 2028.


General Business Tourism Statistics

Although business travellers only comprise 12% of all airline passengers, they contribute up to 75% of profits. 


This is because corporate travellers tend to pay a higher rate for last-minute and non-stop options, but these travellers also have the luxury of premium seats. 


Nearly all business travel bookings are made online, with 28% of hotel bookings being made directly via the hotel’s website, 14% through a travel agent, 10% from an online travel agency, and 7% via a third party. 


Food & lodging takes up the largest segment of business travel. 


Business Travel Spending

How much are the average business travel expenses? 


In 2021, business travel accounted for 20% of the total global travel and tourism expenditure, a 1% Decrease From 2019.  


Business travel expenditure peaked at approximately $1.4 Trillion In 2019. 


The country spending the second highest amount on business travel was the United States, at just over half of China’s spending. 


Business Traveller Persona

Who is the average business traveller? 


The average business traveller is male (63%), aged between 35 and 54. 


And only 37% of the remainder are female. 


56% Of business travellers are employed in managerial positions. 


Business travellers make an average of $127,000 per year.  


78% Of business travellers travel alone.  


59% Make their own travel arrangements. 


The Best Rated Business Travel Destinations

Where do people travel the most for business? The following scoring system is based on Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI), on a scale from 1 (worst) to 7 (best). 


The top destinations according to the TTDI: 


  1. United States
  2. China 
  3. Japan
  4. UK
  5. Australia 


Purposes for Business Travel 


  • 43% Of sales visits  
  • 32% Leadership meetings
  • 32% Client–based projects
  • 15% Conferences


Employee Perks and Opinions on Business Travel

28% Of employees who travel for work report that travel experience or satisfaction is the biggest pain point of their company’s travel. 


41% Of business travellers claim that cost savings outweigh employee satisfaction in their corporate travel program. 38% Say that both factors are balanced, while 21% state that employee satisfaction is prioritised over cost efficiency. 


The most desired perk by business travellers is the freedom to book with their favourite travel suppliers (46%). 


At 43%, the second most desired business travel perk is the permission to stay an extra night at the end of the trip. 


39% Expressed a desire for companies to pay for leisure experiences during business trips. 


Moreover, nearly 2 out of 5 Millennial employees won’t accept a job that doesn’t allow them to travel. 


Sustainability in Business Travel

56% Of business travellers state that lowering their carbon footprint is a moderate priority, whereas 21% believe that it’s a top priority.  


A majority of business travellers are willing to forego daily hotel and serviced apartment cleaning (77%) to reduce their carbon footprint. 


To support the effort of reducing carbon footprint, most are also willing to use smaller cars (73%), fly premium less frequently (68%), travel less for work (63%), taking longer business trips at a time (56%). 


By 2025, 30% of companies expect sustainability to cause an 11% to 25% cutback in travel budgets. 


Sustainability remains a priority for most companies, but they also expect that it will cause corporate travel spending to decrease. 


Hotels and Serviced Accommodation 

In 2019, meetings and conferences made up 18% of hotel gross bookings. 


Corporate booking tools heavily rely on hotels as accommodation. Only 9% offer alternative lodging. 


Only 12% of travel managers have succeeded in adding clauses that specify the availability of amenities for business stays in hotels. 


When Airbnb for Work launched as Airbnb for Business in 2014, their bookings tripled from 2015 to 2016. 


Then again, Airbnb for Business’ bookings Tripled between 2016 and 2017, while the number of companies using the platform hit 700,000 in 2017, almost double that from the previous year. 


Out of the 60% of Airbnb for Work bookings with more than one guest, 40% of them have three or more guests. 


This indicates a growing interest in collaborative business trips. 


Business Travel Technology and Accessibility

Only 26% of travel managers claim that their corporate travel booking tool does a good job of accommodating employees with accessibility needs.  


Meanwhile, a significant percentage of travel managers (37%) are not sure how well their company’s booking tool assists employees with accessibility needs.  


78% Of business travellers would like to see personalised search results based on previous purchases and travel loyalty status (78%). 


Moreover, 70% are interested in integrated access to risk intelligence information. This includes COVID-19 infections and crime statistics in the local area. 


This shows just how ready business travellers are for new booking-related innovations that can make the business travel experience more seamless. 


Challenges and Opportunities in Business Travel

85% Of business travellers stated that they need to travel to accomplish their business goals. 


More than 75% expect to make more business trips in 2023 than they did in the previous years.  


84% Of senior Global Corporate Finance Professionals are confident that travel spending would increase in 2023. 


Over 30% of Airbnb for Work bookings include at least one weekend night, which shows that leisure is still common.  


Overall, the biggest challenges to faster recovery in global business travel include: 


  • Inflation 
  • High energy prices
  • And labour shortages 


The economic slowdown in China and rising sustainability problems are also two major factors in the slow recovery of business travel globally.


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