Business travel slowed down during the pandemic but is finally starting to pick back up again. People realize that business trips are crucial to forming solid connections with others and that talking over video calls doesn’t always cut it. Though taking business trips is once again on the rise, business travel spending is struggling to recover and may not reach pre-pandemic levels for years.
So, how long exactly will it take for business travel spending to recover, and is traveling for business still important? Here’s what you should know.
2022 Business Travel Spending Compared to Pre-Pandemic Levels
Pre-pandemic, companies were sending a considerable amount of employees out on business trips, and business travel spending was booming. In fact, business travel generated more than $1.4 trillion in 2019.
Though we are now seeing companies send their employees on business trips more frequently in 2022 compared to 2020 and 2021, doesn’t mean that business travel spending is where it needs to be. Spending this year is set to hit nearly $933 billion, which is still significantly less than pre-pandemic levels.
How Long Will it Take For Business Travel Spending to Reach Pre-Pandemic Levels?
Though business travel spending is expected to be up 34% this year compared to 2021, it still may take a long time for business travel spending to recover. According to CNBC, business travel spending may not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2026 – two years longer than previously expected. Unfortunately, this could take a huge toll on businesses in the travel industry.
Why is it Taking So Long For Spending to Recover?
People still aren’t traveling for business as much as they used to before the pandemic, which is a huge reason for the slow recovery. Other reasons why it’s taking so long for spending to recover include rising inflation and staffing shortages throughout the travel industry.
How Expensive is it to Travel For Business?
Though business travel spending is struggling to recover, doesn’t mean business travel costs are down. In fact, traveling for business in 2022 doesn’t come cheap. According to Zippia, the average three-day international business trip costs over $2,600, and the average three-day domestic business trip can cost up to $1,293. Furthermore, the most expensive component of these trips is typically lodging, making up 34% of total costs.
Why is Business Travel Still Important?
During the pandemic, many companies stopped sending their employees on business trips. Instead, they communicated with other companies through phone calls, emails, and video chats. Though this got the job done, 2 out of 3 business travelers say it’s challenging to build working relationships over video calls. This is precisely why business travel is still extremely important. Business trips help people get to know who they’re working with in person and let them make connections on a more personal level.
Where Can I Obtain a Passport or Visa For My Trip?
If you plan on traveling for business and need a passport or visa for your trip, you can get the application process started on our website. If you have any questions about obtaining a passport or visa, please feel free to contact a member of our team. We’d be happy to help! No matter where you plan on going, we’ll get you there!