Business travel significantly slowed down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with many companies choosing to halt travel altogether. Thankfully, there is some hope that business travel can one day return to how it was before the start of the pandemic, as business travel is expected to significantly increase in 2022. With vaccination rates on the rise across the globe and countries reopening to international travelers, companies have more opportunities to send their employees on business trips.
Did Business Travel Take a Hit During the Pandemic?
Business travel took a significant hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rising coronavirus cases and (for a while) no covid-19 vaccine caused many companies to cancel their business trips throughout 2020, with nearly 70% of business travelers taking fewer trips than expected.
With the slowdown in business travel came issues for the hospitality industry as well. 53% of the hotel industry’s revenue comes from business travel, and business travelers account for almost 75% of an airline’s revenue. Not being able to send employees out on business trips made a devastating impact on these industries.
How is Business Travel Expected to Rise in 2022?
Though business travel took a hit since the pandemic started, there is some good news when it comes to the future of business travel. According to CNBC, business travel spending is expected to be over $1 trillion in 2022, an increase of nearly 37%.
This is a vast improvement when comparing business travel spending in 2020 and 2021. Business travel spending in 2020 dropped 54% from the previous year, and total spending in 2021 is only expected to increase by 14% from 2020.
Which Countries Are Experiencing Increases in Business Travel?
Global business travel spending is expected to significantly increase over the course of the next few years, with some countries already increasing their business travel spending in 2021:
- The United States: Business travel spending increased by 27% in 2021
- Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific: Business travel spending increased between 15-20% in 2021
- Europe: Business travel spending increased by 10% in 2021
Business travel spending is expected to continue to grow across the globe with predictions that global business travel spending will be nearly $1 trillion in 2022, $1.48 trillion by the end of 2024, and $1.5 trillion by 2025, according to PhocusWire.
When Can We Expect Business Travel to Fully Recover?
Talks of business travel expected to rise in 2022 have left many wondering when and if business travel will fully recover. Well, there may be some insight into when exactly business travel will be back to pre-pandemic levels, and it may be sooner than you think.
Business travel is predicted to make a full recovery by 2024, a year earlier than initially expected, and business spending is expected to be nearly $1.48 trillion in 2024, which is higher than pre-pandemic levels.
What Countries Require Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination?
Numerous countries require visitors to be fully vaccinated to enter. It’s important to know which countries require proof of vaccination so that you can prepare accordingly. Some countries that require proof of vaccination include Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Morocco, The Netherlands, Qatar, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.
You can see the complete list of countries that require proof of vaccination here.
What Precautions Should I Take While Traveling For Business?
While traveling for business or leisure, there are some things that you should do in order to keep yourself safe and healthy. Some precautions you’ll want to take include regularly washing your hands, keeping your distance from others, wearing your mask in public areas, sanitizing your frequently used items, and most importantly, being mindful of those around you. Keeping these things in mind while traveling can help to keep you and those around you safe and healthy.
How Can I Prepare For the Increase in Business Travel?
If your company plans to ramp up business travel, you’ll want to be prepared. Make sure that you apply for a passport and any necessary business visas as soon as possible. Doing so will give you the best chance to receive your passport/visa in time for your trip.
Another thing that you can do is to research the area that you’ll be traveling to so that you can become familiar with any rules and restrictions that are in place, especially those that relate to the coronavirus pandemic. For example, some countries require that you’re fully vaccinated to enter, some require a negative covid-19 test, while others require that you quarantine on arrival. Getting prepared for your business trip now will only make your travels go a whole lot smoother in the long run.
We are so excited for the resurgence of business travel and can’t wait to see how it continues to grow over the next few years. If you need help obtaining a passport or visa for your business trip, please don’t hesitate to contact us. A member of our knowledgeable team would be happy to help you get the process started and answer any questions that you may have. Safe travels!