GBTA: Business travel recovery gaining traction

Business travel continues to turn the corner on COVID-19, and especially over the past month, as concern from Omicron begins to wane and global travel restrictions loosen. Also on the rise are business travel volume expectations for the year ahead, as well as employees’ willingness to travel and to blend business travel with leisure time.

These are just a few of the insights revealed in the February GBTA COVID-19 recovery poll, the latest and 26th in the series as Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) continues to take the pulse of the industry as it navigates through recovery.

“We are entering into the next phase of global business travel—one of thoughtful recovery—and our recent research reflects that shift,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA.

Here are some of the poll highlights:

  • 78% of business travel professionals surveyed currently feel optimistic about the industry’s path to recovery, up from 54% who reported being optimistic in the January poll.
  • The percentage who report non-essential domestic business travel is sometimes or usually allowed increased to 73% in February, compared to 66% in January.
  • On average, travel buyers say their company’s travel bookings are at 33% of their pre-pandemic level, while travel suppliers report their travel bookings are back to the 42% level.
  • 82% of travel managers think their employees are equally interested (53%) or “more/much more” interested (29%) in combining business and leisure travel.
  • 79% think the worst of Omicron is behind us, with 50% expecting business travel to return more slowly over the next three months, while 29% expect it will pick up quickly.