March 3, 2024

Long-haul business travel bounces back

A Business Impact Survey by The Advantage Travel Partnership has highlighted the return of long-haul business travel, with 84% of Advantage members reporting an up-turn in the number of long-haul trips booked. 

The majority of members reported increases in trips to the US (81%) and European destinations (68%).

Following the easing in March of China’s strict Covid travel restrictions for inbound foreign travellers, over 50% members surveyed reported an increase in business travel bookings to China.

Meanwhile, 42% said domestic travel levels have increased. 

The survey, which took place in April, found 80% of TMCs are seeing increases in overall travel from their clients, while 65% are seeing an increase in the percentage of a company’s travel spend they receive. 

Members are also reporting significant increases in turnover and transaction levels when compared to pre-pandemic levels of 2019, with 68% of members reporting higher turnover and 61% higher transaction levels. 

Due to the cost-of-living crisis and global inflation, 97% of respondents reported an increase in the cost of business travel flights and a further 94% are seeing an increase in the cost of business travel hotel stays.

One in six respondents said they are seeing a 50% increase in air fares. 

The Business Impact Survey found 80% of TMCs have seen an increase in new customers, with 68% receiving approaches from previously ‘unmanaged’ corporate travel teams. 

Of those surveyed, over a third believe this increase in new customers booking through a TMC is due to the security and protection provided against late changes or cancellations, while another third believe it is due to the simplicity of booking business travel through a TMC. 

Guy Snelgar, Global Business Travel Director of The Advantage Travel Partnership, said: “The business travel industry has shown its resilience and continues to bounce back following the difficulties faced throughout the pandemic, alongside ongoing strikes and global inflation.

“Despite the rising cost of living, our members are seeing an increase in expenditure on corporate travel, new business and long-haul travel, which are positive signs for our economy.”