Business Travel Outlook for 2022
As we hit the two-year mark of the pandemic era, what signs of a “new normal” might be on the horizon? Is business travel resuming? How about in-person meetings and events?
Of course, the present is a very fluid situation, and local restrictions, company policies or new virus variants could all influence business travel and meeting attendance at any time. Surveys and recent research, though, are pointing to a slight increase in travel during 2022. A Deloitte report concluded although business travel this year, even assuming the best possible COVID-19 outcomes, will not reach 2019 levels, it is showing encouraging signs of growth.
Here are takeaways from a recent Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) poll. With over 1,000 responses, it can help to gauge expectations and reveal what other companies are planning in the current business climate.
- 72% of respondents said they would currently feel comfortable traveling for business
- 29% of companies have canceled or suspended most or all domestic business trips
- 64% of travel managers still think employees are willing to travel despite Omicron
- Two-thirds of respondents said their company is now resuming allowing non-essential domestic business trips; this drops to 42% for international trips
- 70% of respondents said the Omicron variant is expected to negatively impact business travel revenue
- Only 13% of respondents are more concerned about the impact of the Omicron variant compared to the Delta variant
Overall, business travel professionals are optimistic about 2022. With so much uncertainty, we can’t expect a full return to normalcy anytime soon, but the current outlook for 2022 is trending positively.
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