The year 2020 was rough for business travel.
A full 90% of business trips were canceled, and the industry collapsed by 50%, resulting in billions of dollars in losses.
In 2021, business tourism managed to rise from its ashes. It first experienced a 14% growth, which jumped to 32% in 2022. Plus, the $700B industry is now forecast to be worth $2T by 2028.
So at Passport Photo Online, we’ve decided to compile a data-driven roundup of corporate travel statistics, facts, and trends for 2023 and beyond to help you stay in the loop.
Let’s dive in.
- Top 10 Business Travel Stats and Facts to Know in 2023
- General Business Travel Statistics
- How COVID-19 Affected Business Travel
- Business Travel Outlook Post Coronavirus
- What a Typical Business Trip Looks Like
- The Portrait of A Typical Business Traveler
- Travel Manager Statistics
- Corporate Travel vs. Sustainability
- Where Do Most People Travel for Business?
Top 10 Business Travel Stats and Facts to Know in 2023
- Nine in 10 employees consider business travel a perk.
- Travel budgets account for 10% of companies’ overall expenses.
- New York is the most expensive US city for business travel, with a daily cost of over $500.
- 33% of businesses expect a reduction of 11–25% in travel budgets by 2025 due to the rollout of sustainability plans.
- Nearly 400M business trips occur in the US annually.
- Over 700K international business visitors came to the US in 2022, which is 80% less than in 2019.
- Business tourism supports 700K+ jobs in the US.
- Business travel expenditures in the US are expected to skyrocket by 180%, from $120B in 2020 to $350B in 2025.
- US business travelers take an average of two trips per month.
- Mexico is the leading international destination for US business travelers, accounting for about 33% of all trips.
General Business Travel Statistics
- Business travel expenditures worldwide grew from $564B in 2001 to $1.4T in 2019.
- 82% of companies (with 1K+ employees) consider business travel essential. Here’s why:
|Key Benefits of Business Travel||Share of Executives Who Agree|
|Developing relationships with customers||69%|
|Understanding current trends||45%|
|Improving professional development||44%|
|Gaining an edge over the competition||38%|
- In 2019, Italy attracted the highest number of international business travelers, with nearly 15M annual arrivals (the US ranked fourth at 7M+.)
- Corporate travelers from Latin America spent almost $7B in the US in 2020, followed by the Asian-Pacific region ($2.5B) and Europe ($1.5B).
- Here’s a look at corporate travel spending by country in 2021:
|Country||Business Travel Spending (in Billions)|
- Although business travelers account for ~12% of all airline passengers, they bring ~75% of the profits.
- Here’s an overview of the number of trips business travelers take per month by industry:
|Sectors||Number of Monthly Business Trips|
|Aviation and Aviation Services||2.5|
|Information and Technology||1.9|
- 80% of US business travel budgets go to domestic trips.
How COVID-19 Affected Business Travel
- In the 21st century, global business travel spending has only gone down three times, with the year 2020 being the harshest:
|Year||Drop in Global Business Travel Spending|
- In 2021, the global business travel expenditure dropped to $754B from $1.4T in 2019.
- Business travel spending in the US decreased by nearly 60% in 2020, plummeting from 2019’s $313B to $122B.
- Worldwide, business travel shrank by almost half, from $1.5T to $700B, causing over 2M people to lose their jobs.
- Here’s a look at the leading US companies in corporate travel in 2020 and how the pandemic affected them:
|Companies||Сumulative Value of Airline Tickets Purchased (in Billions)||Change Compared to 2019|
- Companies cut travel expenditures by 90% in 2021.
- Due to coronavirus variants and travel regulations, 92% of companies worldwide suspended most or all international travel in May 2021.
- In the case of domestic business flights, the cancellation rates peaked at 69% in March 2021 and kept lowering to ~30% in October 2021.
- Only 8% of companies say corporate travel rates in the second half of 2021 met the expected levels.
- COVID-19 caused 15% of companies to fundamentally rethink their travel policies.
- 71% of business travelers agree that COVID-19 created a greater need for face-to-face interaction, which can’t be satisfied with virtual means.
- With travel requirements loosening up, the rate of canceled business trips lowered to ~70% in October 2021 (from over 90% in 2020).
- Although COVID restrictions have been lifted, the number of flights canceled in the US in 2022 exceeded that of 2021.
- Around 122K flights had already been canceled by July 2022, compared to 121K in 2021.
|Consequences of Reduced Business Travel||Share of Corporate Executives Who Agree|
|Short-term gains but long-term loses||46%|
|Negative impact on the company’s financial performance||36%|
|Negative impact on the company’s ability to acquire new customers||30%|
Business Travel Outlook Post Coronavirus
- Over 60% of employees are optimistic about the recovery of business travel from coronavirus.
- International trips for US employees are expected to account for ~20% of overall business travel spending.
- 43% of workers were more likely to travel for business in 2022 than a year ago.
- Since 2020, business travel spending worldwide has grown by 26% annually.
- The global business travel market is projected to grow to $2T (+188%) by 2028.
- Spending on corporate travel was projected to reach half of what it was in 2019 by the end of 2022.
- Global business travel expenditures are expected to reach pre-pandemic levels by 2024.
- The US corporate travel is forecast to recover to 2019 levels by 2024, reaching $336B.
- Trips to headquarters may become a new business travel trend, as over 25% of WFH-dominant companies expect their employees to visit HQs regularly.
- 60% of global travel managers expected business travel volume to be higher in 2022 compared to 2021.
What a Typical Business Trip Looks Like
- Three days is the average length of a single corporate trip.
- One in three workers is away from home for as long as two weeks per month.
|Key Corporate Travel Goals||Share of Business Travelers Who Agree|
|Client project work||31%|
- Only ~66% of companies reimburse employees’ travel expenses to the HQ.
- Just 10% of companies book non-traditional lodging (e.g., private rentals).
- ~50% of companies reimburse employees for staying outside hotels.
|Approaches to Non-Hotel Bookings in Corporate Travel||Share of Companies That Take them|
|No reimbursement for non-hotel bookings||49%|
|Reimburse some alternative bookings||34%|
|Reimburse only specific brands of alternative bookings||23%|
|Non-traditional lodges are part of the corporate booking tool||9%|
- A domestic business trip cost around $300 per day in 2021.
- A typical business trip within the US is ~$900 per person.
- International corporate travel expenses reach over $2.5K per person.
|Most Expensive US Cities for Business Tourism||Daily Cost|
|New York, NY||$540|
|Santa Barbara, CA||$518|
|San Francisco, CA||$430|
|Los Angeles, CA||$400|
The Portrait of A Typical Business Traveler
- The median age of business travelers is 44.
- Most business travelers are Whites (72%), followed by Asians (14%), Hispanics (6%), and Black (5%).
- About 70% of corporate travelers are males, and 30% are females.
- Over 55% of business travelers spend ~6 days a month on the road.
- Roughly 33% of business travelers work entirely remotely.
- 64% of business travelers feel they are “on their own” when something goes wrong on the road.
- Nearly 40% of corporate travelers feel tired upon waking up.
- A third of business travelers have trouble falling asleep.
- Over 30% of business tourists consume alcohol frequently.
|Key Stressors of Business Trips by Air||Share of Respondents Who Agree|
|Rebooking in case of flight changes||44%|
|Flight delays and cancellations||64%|
|Catching up on office work||51%|
|Preparing expense reports||45%|
Travel Manager Statistics
- 96% of travel managers use online booking tools (OBTs) when planning business trips.
- For 59% of travel managers, technology is one of the most critical aspects when it comes to picking a travel management company (TMC).
|Travel Managers’ Key Activities||Share of Managers Who Agree|
|Overseeing the relationship with one’s travel management company||22%|
|Negotiating supplier discounts||17%|
|Developing or enforcing travel policies||12%|
|Choosing technology (e.g., booking tools)||12%|
- 42% of travel managers consider tech one of the main disadvantages of their primary TMC.
|How Booking Priorities Have Changed In Regards to Corporate Trips Since 2019||Share of Companies that Agree|
|Sustainability and social responsibility||55%|
|Travel policy compliance||53%|
Corporate Travel vs. Sustainability
- Eight in 10 companies say sustainability is vital to their travel program.
- 50% of organizations believe sustainability is “very important” or “extremely important.”
- Only 6% of companies are willing to pay extra for more sustainable travel options.
- Nearly half (49%) of businesses value financial savings over sustainability in business travel.
- 60% of corporate executives expect their companies to spend less on business travel in the future.
- Six in 10 travel managers believe their company will reduce business travel spending by 10% to meet sustainability goals.
- Just 1% of travel managers say their company could cut corporate travel expenditures by more than half to reduce emissions.
|Popular Initiatives to Promote Other-than-Car Travel Options||Share of Companies That Support Them|
|Use of public transportation||23%|
|Use of electric or hybrid rental cars||12%|
|Ordering electric or hybrid cars through a rideshare app||5%|
|Use of electric scooters or bicycle sharing||0%*|
*None of the surveyed companies pointed to that initiative. But 11% of them consider implementing it in the future.
- 78% of employees say their company allows public transportation for business travel at least “sometimes.”
- 42% of business travelers use public transport “never” or “rarely.”
- Nearly half (47%) of corporate travelers use public transportation “sometimes” or “often.”
- Less than 2% of business travelers use alternative modes of transportation, such as electric scooters or bicycle-sharing apps.
|Sustainability Information Travel Managers Seek in Booking Apps||Share of Managers Who Agree|
|Hotels’ sustainability ratings||74%|
|Flights’ carbon emissions||70%|
|Option to display hotels with high sustainability ratings||66%|
|Option to display flights with lower carbon emissions higher in search results||63%|
|Exclude less sustainable options from search results||39%|
- Although businesses consider sustainability information essential, only 44% of booking tools provide it.
Where Do Most People Travel for Business?
- Half of business trips are to and from the company’s headquarters.
- Internal business trips are primarily made to engage with coworkers in person (37%) and meet with supervisors (36%).
- In-person meetings are the most desired format of business events worldwide, accounting for 42% of all meetings.
- In 2019, 18% of hotel bookings came from corporate meetings and conferences.
- 47% of global hoteliers expected business meetings and events to increase in 2022.
|Most Expensive Cities for Business Travel||Daily Hotel Cost|
|New York (US)||$376|
|Santa Barbara (US)||$352|
|Tel Aviv (Israel)||$286|
Stacking It All Up
There you have it.
A comprehensive list of business travel statistics, facts, and trends to help you stay ahead of the curve.
Let us know in the comments if there are any other corporate travel stats you’d like to see.
Who travels the most for business?
Construction workers travel for business the most. They take an average of three trips per month.
How many people travel for business annually in the US?
In 2021, slightly over 180M people traveled for business in the US. It’s a significant drop from 400M+ business trips in 2019.
How often do workers travel?
On average, most employees (55%) travel for business fewer than six days a month. A quarter spends up to two weeks away from home, and around 8% travel for more than 20 days a month.
What percent of flyers are business travelers?
Business travelers purchase ~12% of airline tickets. Yet, they generate as much as 75% of airlines’ profits.
How long is the average business trip?
The average business trip lasts three days. Over half of all travelers take two corporate trips per month, resulting in six days on the road.
What percentage of airline revenue comes from business travel?
A full 75% of airline revenue comes from business travel. That’s because business travelers often pay as much as 3x (or more) the cost of an economy-class ticket.
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Adam is an SEO & Digital PR writer with a child’s curiosity about the surrounding world. His superpower to dig out juicy facts got him citations in Forbes, Social Media Today, and 90+ other news outlets. Adam enjoys snapping pictures and won the national Huawei Next Image Award.