Advantage Business Impact Survey reveals an increase in new business, long haul travel and business travel spending post pandemic
21 May 2023
- Advantage’s survey conducted across its business travel members shows 80 percent of members have seen an increase in new business and increase in expenditure from existing clients
- Long-haul business travel returns with members seeing significant increases in travel to the USA
- Members are seeing increased levels of business travel despite rising airfares and hotel costs
- Sustainability becomes a top priority
A recent Business Impact Survey* from The Advantage Travel Partnership, Britain’s largest consortium of independent travel agents, has revealed the latest business travel booking trends its members are reporting.
The results of Advantage’s latest Business Impact Survey have emphasised the strong performance of the corporate travel sector following the chaos caused by the pandemic over the past three years. 80 percent of The Advantage Travel Partnership’s business travel members surveyed have seen an increase in new customers, with 68 percent receiving approaches from previously ‘unmanaged’ corporate travel teams.
Of those surveyed, over a third believe this increase in new customers booking through a TMC is due to the security and protection provided against late changes or cancellations. Almost another third believe it is due to the simplicity of booking business travel through a TMC.
Alongside new clients, the pent-up demand for business travel following the global travel restrictions of the pandemic is also evident amongst existing clients. 80 percent of members are seeing increases in travel from existing clients, while 65 percent are seeing an increase in the percentage of a company’s travel spend they receive.
The increase in business travel is also reflected financially, with members seeing significant increases when compared to pre-pandemic levels of 2019. 68 percent of members reported higher turnover and 61 percent are seeing higher transaction levels.
Whilst Advantage members report strong figures, the cost-of-living crisis and global inflation continues to affect the industry. 97 percent of respondents reported an increase in the cost of business travel flights and a further 94 percent are seeing an increase in the cost of business travel hotel stays. In fact, 1 in 6 respondents said they are seeing a 50 percent increase in airfares.
The Business Impact Survey has also revealed the latest trends in the business travel industry. 2023 has seen the return of long-haul business travel with 84 percent of Advantage members seeing an up-turn in the number of long-haul trips booked.
The most popular business travel destinations, where the majority of members reported increases, were the USA with 81 percent seeing an increase and European destinations, with 68 percent of members seeing an increase in travellers. Following the easing in March of China’s strict Covid travel restrictions for inbound foreign travellers, over half of members surveyed reported an increase in business travel bookings to China. Meanwhile, 42 percent of members in the survey said domestic travel levels have increased.
Sustainability remains a top priority within the business travel industry as corporations and travellers look to reduce carbon emissions and the impact of their trip. Many business travellers are opting for rail travel as an alternative to flying and almost a third of those surveyed said they are seeing an increase in requests for train travel.
Guy Snelgar, Global Business Travel Director of The Advantage Travel Partnership, said:
“The business travel industry has shown its resilience and continues to bounce back following the difficulties faced throughout the pandemic, alongside ongoing strikes and global inflation. Despite the rising cost of living, our members are seeing an increase in expenditure on corporate travel, new business and long-haul travel, which are positive signs for our economy.
“Despite the use of technology to connect people around the world, the demand for business travel and to connect in-person, is clearly there and we expect it to continue to exceed the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 throughout this year. Both new and existing clients are increasingly opting for the support of a TMC when booking trips, using their expert knowledge and experience to simplify the complexities of business travel. TMCs and individual travel agents are able to offer trusted connections and will be able to look after travellers if and when travel plans are disrupted.”