The Advantage Travel Partnership Publishes Its Latest Global Business Travel Review
07 Feb 2024
The review reveals the ‘new normal’ for business travel and what to expect for the year ahead.
The Advantage Travel Partnership, the UK’s pre-eminent business network representing travel agents and travel management companies, has published the 6th edition of its Global Business Travel Review in partnership with travel data and reporting specialists, Travelogix.
The latest review covers the entirety of 2023 and contains detailed data analysis of 25.4m records, with an aggregate value of £12.3bn in transactional revenue, to support insights from travel professionals into traveller and booker behaviour and confidence.
The Global Business Travel Review indicates booking data for 2023 can be considered the first stable year since 2019, without travel disruption related to the global pandemic, and a point of comparison for future years. Booking volumes for 2023 finished at 92 percent of those seen in 2019, however, this was below the previous forecast of 97.2 percent with Q3 underperforming expectations.
The key findings of the latest Global Business Travel Review revealed:
- 2023 finished up at 92% of booking volumes when compared to those seen in 2019.
- The average transaction value for 2023 finished at £429.35. This is 5.7% higher than in 2022 and 44.8% higher than in 2019.
- 2023 concluded with an average advanced purchase of 28.6 days. Although a drop from our last report in September (33.1 days), this average remains higher than the 23.4 days we saw in 2019.
- The year ended with an average trip duration of 6.95 days. Although lower than what we saw in September’s report (7.9 days), this average remains higher than what we saw in 2019 (4.6 days) by 51%.
- Business travellers are turning left more; premium-class air travel has continued to rise in line with the spotlight on the health and wellbeing of employees.
Looking at the data reveals what Advantage’s Global Business Travel Director, Guy Snelgar, says can be considered the ‘new normal’ with advanced purchase times and average trip durations both significantly higher than pre-pandemic as travellers increasingly opt for more purposeful, fuller trips that deliver greater value. The average advanced purchase time was 28.6 days overall in 2023 in comparison to 23.4 days in 2019. Similarly, the average trip duration during 2023 was 6.95 days, a rise of 51% when compared to 2019’s 4.6 days.
With business travellers on the road for increasing lengths of time, companies are reconstructing their policies to fall in line with the wellbeing demands of their employees as the comfort of travellers is now more important than ever. This is reflected in the rise of premium class air travel with premium cabins showing major growth to make up 28.7% of all bookings for the year, when the average used to sit around 20% in previous years.
The Global Business Travel Review includes commentary on topical travel industry issues and predictions for the future from industry leaders and guest contributors. This issue looks at the revolution of blended travel and how it is entwined with the growth of hybrid working; 10 key travel trends to watch for in 2024; and global insights from China, India, Portugal, and Canada.
The latest review also lays out the opportunities for the increased use of blockchain technology in the business travel industry, showing how the technology can benefit travellers with additional security, increased reliability, and the ability to bypass currency exchange. There are further insights into the role of blockchain technology and how it may change the business travel industry through tracking sustainability credentials and ‘Smart Contracts’ for e-tickets, loyalty schemes and partnership agreements.
Looking ahead with predictions for 2024, there are positive expectations for the performance of the business travel industry. Travelogix has created a model which considers pre-Covid seasonality and trends combined with 2023 seasonality and trends. This model has forecast that 2024 will outperform 2023 by at least 15.5 percent and 2019 by at least 6.2 percent. Q1 2024 is anticipated to outperform Q1 2019 by at least 3.3 percent and Q1 2023 by at least 20.2 percent.
Guy Snelgar, Global Business Travel Director of The Advantage Travel Partnership, said: “With the publication of this review, we can finally say goodbye to the pre-covid comparisons of 2019 and truly look to understand what the ‘new normal’ for business travel now is. The chaos of travel throughout the pandemic and its lingering effects has undoubtedly had a seismic effect on the business travel industry and we are seeing that reflected in the data, with longer trips being booked and wellbeing now at the forefront of a business traveller’s duty of care. Despite current geopolitical tensions and economic uncertainty, we are seeing a buoyant business travel market and are expecting to see high demand from the corporate travel industry throughout 2024. As we look ahead, there is plenty to be optimistic about.”
Chris Lewis, Founder and CEO of Travelogix, said: “2024 sees us launch our sixth Global Business Travel Review with the team at Advantage, and we’re thrilled to report on some hugely positive metrics to our readership. This year feels like a breakthrough year for the travel industry. The year should also represent a full 12 months of recovery for business travel. Within January’s review, we’re also featuring insights into the trends that could help shape the industry moving forward over the next 12 months. We also explore what impact blockchain might have on the business travel space in the coming year(s).
Our work with the team at The Advantage Travel Partnership is of huge importance to me and the team here at Travelogix. To be able to highlight and analyse the data and trends that are shaping the industry in which we operate is vital to truly understanding the direction we are headed in. A huge thank you to the team at Advantage and the many industry contributors we have featured across the six editions. Their unwavering support and continued willingness to collaborate on this project means a great deal."
Two further editions of the Global Business Travel Review will be published in 2024 with updated stats and insights.
The Review contains contributions from:
Guy Snelgar – The Advantage Travel Partnership
Stephen Baxendale – The Advantage Travel Partnership
John Hobbs-Hurrell – Advantage Global Network
Bernardo Botella – Air Europa
Charity Rumery – HQ
Clive Wratten – The Business Travel Association
Glenn Thorsen – Industry Expert
Glory Sunitha Ravikumar – Pricol
Daryl Silver – Continental Travel Group
David Thomas – Meon Valley Travel
Jack Dow – Grapevine
Mark Corbett – Thrust Carbon
Terry Qihao – BTG Travel
Steffen Faradi – Midoco
Thomas Rowland – Lokulus
Diogo Carvalho – Travelcare