Business trips are being booked further in advance and are getting longer, according to the latest Global Business Travel Review from Advantage Travel Partnerships.
The report, compiled in conjunction with Travelogix, found the average advanced purchase time for business trips was 28.6 days in 2023, compared to 23.4 days in 2019.
Meanwhile, the average trip duration during 2023 was 6.95 days, a rise of 51% when compared to 4.6 days in 2019.
Advantage Global Business Travel Director, Guy Snelgar, says this trend can be considered the ‘new normal’ as travellers increasingly opt for more purposeful, fuller trips that deliver greater value.
“With the publication of this review, we can finally say goodbye to the pre-covid comparisons of 2019 and truly look to understand what the ‘new normal’ for business travel now is,” he said.
“The chaos of travel throughout the pandemic and its lingering effects has undoubtedly had a seismic effect on the business travel industry and we are seeing that reflected in the data, with longer trips being booked and wellbeing now at the forefront of a business traveller’s duty of care.
“Despite current geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainty, we are seeing a buoyant business travel market and are expecting to see high demand from the corporate travel industry throughout 2024. As we look ahead, there is plenty to be optimistic about.”
He said companies are reconstructing their policies to fall in line with the wellbeing demands of their employees as the comfort of travellers is now more important than ever.
This is further reflected in the rise of premium class air travel with premium cabins showing major growth to make up 28.7% of all bookings for the year. The average was previously around 20%.
The review contains detailed data analysis of 25.4m records in 2023, with an aggregate value of £12.3bn in transactional revenue.
Booking volumes for 2023 finished at 92% of those seen in 2019, however, this was below the previous forecast of 97.2% with quarter underperforming expectations.
The average transaction value for 2023 finished at £429.35. This is 5.7% higher than in 2022 and 44.8% higher than in 2019.
Looking ahead to 2024, there are positive expectations for the performance of the business travel industry.
Travelogix forecasts that 2024 will outperform 2023 by at least 15.5% and 2019 by at least 6.2%.