February 29, 2024

Western Europe set to be fastest growing business travel market

Western Europe is expected to be the fastest growing business travel market this year, according to the GBTA’s most recent Index Outlook.

It predicts the region will continue to experience one the sharpest recoveries in business travel by 2026.

Emerging Europe and Western Europe were the only regions to suffer spending declines in 2021 as Covid continued to hit domestic and regional business travel markets.

But Europe’s business travel spend now accounts for approximately 20% of global spend, compared to 27% in 2019. 

In 2022, Europe was forecasted to be the fastest growing business travel market with spend growing 61.7% and expected to grow another 25.3% in 2023. 

“In 2021, Western European business travel spend continued to be hit by the pandemic more than any other region in the world. As restrictions eased and borders re-opened, a significant pent-up demand led to a surge in business travel spend across the region,” said Catherine Logan, Regional Vice President, EMEA and APAC for GBTA. 

“Europe regained ground in 2022 and is now forecast to become the fastest growing business travel market in 2023.”

But she added: “Despite this healthy start to the year, there is caution as uncertainty continues due to rising inflation and economic crisis, all threatening to derail progress as we move further into 2023.”

Six countries — Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, and The Netherlands — accounted for 65.1% of business travel expenditures in the region last year.

The two largest markets European markets, Germany and the UK, have recovered less (in percentage terms) than the broader region. France, Spain, and three of the four Nordic markets — Sweden, Denmark, and Norway have recovered more than the broader region.