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Business Travel Statistics 2023


Everything you need to know on International Business Travel Statistics, Destinations, Spending & Top Business Travel Trends.


The 2020 pandemic had a big impact on business travel, lockdowns caused 86% of people to cancel all plans for international corporate travel with the industry predicted to lose around $810.7 billion dollars in revenue in 2020. Along with revenue losses, 18 airlines went bankrupt. With the halt on travel, businesses used other means to hold meetings online, and working from home became the norm. This has continued post-pandemic and has impacted the business travel industry for good. In 2020, Bill Gates predicted that more than 50% of business travel and more than 30% of days worked in offices would go away permanently.

As you’ll see from the data below, some companies are choosing to cut travel budgets, opting to save costs and utilise video conferencing where they can. However, 64% of workers find face-to-face meetings necessary and as a critical part of building healthy business relationships – particularly when salespeople are looking to build trust. Read on to find out more on how the business travel industry has changed over the past couple of years.


1.3 million people travel for work purposes every day in the U.S. alone.

The number of female corporate travelers is growing by the day. In the US, 45% of people traveling for business are women.

Bleisure — the industry buzzword for travelers combining business and leisure — is on the rise, growing 20% from 2016 to 2017.

More than 40% of business trips are extended for leisure purposes.

Business travel is expected to grow to $1.6 trillion in annual spend by 2020.

The year 2017 saw $1.3 trillion spent on global corporate travel.

Business travel spending is expected to top $1.7 trillion USD by 2022.

Americans go on over 400 million long-distance work trips annually.

Most work trips are less than 250 miles in length.

It’s estimated that fewer than 7% of business trip destinations are more than 1,000 miles away from their point of origin.

Almost 20% of all travel is work-related.



How has business travel changed post-pandemic?

In 2020, Bill Gates predicted that more than 50% of business travel and more than 30% of days worked in offices would go away permanently.

If Gates were right, the American economy would stand to lose at least $167 billion dollars per year post-pandemic.

In 2019, business travel injected $334 billion dollars in spending into the U.S. economy and supported 2.5 million jobs.

86% of people had to cancel all plans for international business travel in the wake of the pandemic.

Corporate travel remained relatively low throughout 2021 and stood at 10% of the pre-covid world.

In 2022, 68% of businesses expect to see business travel return to pre-pandemic levels over the next year.

The global market for business travel is showing signs of recovery and is projected to reach US$829.5 billion

In Q3 of 2021, US business travel spend was at 15-20% of the 2019 levels. By Q3 of 2022, nearly half the companies surveyed are projected to reach 25% of 2019 levels.

The global business travel market size was valued at  $695.9 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach  $2,001.1 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 13.2% from 2021-2028.

Sales trips are one of the biggest drivers with 43% of companies sending employees abroad for sales trips.

93% of companies are aiming to permanently change remote work and meeting policies.

66% are expected to permanently change travel policies.

More than 50% of travel managers are planning to reduce travel budgets to offer more flexibility for remote roles.

Smaller companies lead the demand for corporate travel.

More than two-thirds (68%) of companies with under $1 billion in annual revenue expect travel budgets to increase next year, versus just 41% of companies with annual revenues over $16 billion.

32% of smaller companies said travel budgets had returned to pre-pandemic levels compared with 23% of big firms.

Nearly 25% of both large and small companies say they are back to pre-COVID travel levels, and 34% anticipate a full recovery by the end of 2023.

64% of workers consider in-person meetings as a critical part of building a healthy business relationship. 

53% trust salespeople more in offline situations than online.


When asked about the importance of business travel for their companies, CFOs tended to mention the return on investment in relation to:


Sales and business development (68%)

Internal strategy and business planning (50%)

Client account management (48%)

Training and development for employees (48%)

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the face of business travel as we know it, with working from home becoming the new normal. Along with the pandemic, additional events such as the Russian attack on Ukraine, the cost of living crisis, and the huge rise in energy prices business travel is not back to pre-pandemic levels just yet. 

Added to that, the UK’s departure from the EU continues to create issues for business travellers and for the industry’s ability to retain and attract the people it requires to match the growing demand.


Air travel demand recovery isn’t expected to reach pre-pandemic levels globally until 2024 and along with economic struggles, two big reasons behind the slow return of business travel are resistance from employees and clients towards traveling and in-person meetings.


Sources: Travel Perk, Morgan Stanley, Clyde Travel 


How many people travel for business a day?

1.3 million people travel for work every day in the U.S. alone.

400 million Americans go on long-distance business trips annually.

Just under 20% of all travel is for work.

12% of airline's passengers are made up of corporate travelers.

75% of airline travel profit is made by business travelers.

40% of hotel guests are work travelers.

Over 700,000 companies used Airbnb for work-related travel in 2018.

28.4% of all travel and tourism revenue comes from corporate travel.

In 2018, organisations travel spending was expected to grow by 7.1% and it is expected to top $1.7 trillion by 2022.

The number of people who travel for work is on the rise with 1.3 million business travelers every day in the U.S. With 400 million U.S long-distance work trips a year, the profits that can be made from this opportunity are significant, accounting for 28.4% of all travel and tourism revenue. Hotels see a great result from this, with 40% of their total guests being corporate travelers. Airbnb is also gaining from this with over 700,000 companies using the accommodation found through the site for work-related travel. Airline companies see a huge benefit from these travelers because although only 12% of airline travelers are flying for work-related purposes, 75% of the airline profit comes from this. This can be due to higher pricing in business-class seating and more onboard spending.


Sources:, Purplepassport, Financesonline


Who travels the most for business?

45% of people traveling for work in the U.S are women.

2/3 of corporate travelers have a bachelor’s degree with an average household income of $82,000.

50% of corporate travelers are older than 45 years old.

60% are male.

50% of corporate travelers from Europe go on trips alone.

50% of European corporate trips are for parties of two or more.

28% of work trips are employees in sales or service workers.

53% of business travelers are in roles who consider their occupation to be professional, managerial, or technical.

About 55% of all work trips are made by individuals aged 30 to 49.

When it comes to who travels the most for work, there is no set answer. Statistics suggest that there is a slight lean to more male travelers than female with males making up 60% of the total. Over half of corporate travelers having professional, managerial or technical roles agrees with the majority of travelers having bachelor degrees and an average household income of $82,000. There is an even split between solo travelers and pair/group travelers.  


SourcesTravelperk,, Financesonline


How have millennials changed business travel?

65% of millennial business travelers view corporate trips as a status symbol.

69% of millennials want to extend their work trips for leisure.

56% of millennials create reasons to go on corporate trips.

4 trips every year is the average amount of business travel for a millennial.

85% of companies in the tech industry book budget flights instead of choosing upper-class seats in order to save money.

78% of millennials make time for leisure on business trips.

Millennials have redefined business travel through the 65% viewing corporate trips as a status symbol. This perception could account for 56% of these millennials that make up reasons to go on work-related trips. With a large number of millennials wanting to travel for work, comes the increased ‘bleisure’ holiday with 78% of these millennials making time for leisure on their trips. Corporate travel for millennials is in high demand with the average millennial making 7.4 work trips every year.  




What are the most popular business travel destinations?

Most trips are less than 250 miles away from the point of origin.

Less than 7% of destinations are more than 1,000 miles away from their point of origin.

Domestic travel by U.S. travelers accounted for 462 million business trips in 2008 and this figure is forecast to rise to 499.4 million by 2022.

There was a 0.7% decrease in corporate travel going into the UK in 2017.

Corporate travelers in Asia account for more than a third of all business travel.

Shanghai, Tokyo, Bangkok, Guangzhou, and New York are the fastest-growing destinations for business travel.

China and the U.S. were the top markets in terms of travel spend, followed by Germany, Japan, and the U.K.

New York City is the most common destination.

40% of hotel guests are business travelers.

Popular cities are Shanghi, Tokyo, Bangkok, Guangzhou, and New York, with New York being the most common destination for business travel. When it comes to the most money spent, China and the US were the destinations with the most money put towards work-related travel, with Germany, Japan, and the UK following behind. Domestic travel for work is more prominent in locations that are within 250 miles from their point of origin, with only 7% of the destinations being over 1000 miles away. These destinations account for 462 million domestic business trips in the US during 2008 and this number is predicted to rise to 499.4 million by 2022. In 2017, there was a slight decrease in business travel going into the UK of 0.7%, and this may be due to the growing business destinations of Shanghai, Tokyo, Bangkok, Guangzhou and New York pulling the market away.


SourcesDollarsprout, Travelperk, Spendesk


How do people combine business and leisure travel?

Bleisure trips (trips combining business and pleasure) have increased by 20% from 2016 to 2017.

Over 40% of business trips become extended for leisure purposes.

41% of travelers enjoy exploring new places and cultures, this is more than meeting with clients and teams (17%).

80% of corporate travelers try to fit in leisure activities while on a work trip.

Employees want the flexibility to extend their trips for leisure (34%) and given a budget for exercise and similar lifestyle activities during the trip (24%).

Employees would like their companies to provide a budget for extracurriculars (74%) and give them the option to bring a guest on the trip (38%).

37% of travelers say that leisure activities should have an equal length as business activities during a corporate trip.

Bleisure trips have increased by 20% from 2016 to 2017. This is no surprise due to only 17% of business travelers enjoying meeting the clients and teams, compared to 41% of travelers who enjoy exploring new places and cultures. To include more leisure within their work travel, 74% of employees would like their companies to provide a budget for extracurricular activities and 38% of them would like the option to bring a guest on the trip. When it comes to the balance of leisure and work on the trip, 37% of travelers would like their leisure activities to be of equal length to the business activities. With 80% of corporate travelers aiming to fit in leisure activities on a work trip, there is a market for bleisure.





Why is business travel important for businesses and employees?

90% of professionals believe that business travel is valuable to company growth.

79% of employees say that it impacts their overall job satisfaction.

3 in 5 job seekers in the USA say that being able to travel via work plays a crucial role in considering an employer.

83% of employees say that travel is a job perk.

62% of employees go on trips to attend conferences.

30% of trips are to pitch new products.

40% is to meet with coworkers in a different location.

44% is for professional development.

56% is to meet with other companies for business planning.

Approximately 28% of current business would be lost if employees didn't travel.

Companies gain $12.50 in revenue for every dollar invested in business travel.

30% of employees would accept lower salaries in exchange for more trips.

90% of business travellers agree that travel is essential to company growth.

39% of Millennial and Gen Z workers wouldn’t accept a job where they can't travel.

Statistics show that face-to-face meetings are 34 times more powerful than remote, virtual conversations.

The increased number of work trips suggests that there must be many advantages to travel. Business travel statistics show that face-to-face meetings are 34 times more powerful than remote conversations and may give a reason as to why 90% of business travellers agree that travel is essential to company growth. Spending money on corporate travel is shown to be worth it, approximately 28% of current business would be lost if businesses chose not to invest in travel, companies also gain $12.50 in revenue for every dollar invested in travel. Corporate trips allow employees to meet coworkers in different locations, pitch products, attend conferences and more so the loss of this ability would cause a major drawback to the company. Additionally, 79% of employees say that travel impacts their overall job satisfaction and 3 out of 5 USA job seekers would be influenced by this ability in choosing a job which suggests those who travel for work are happier employees.


SourcesFinancesonline, Travelperk, FitSmallBusiness, Spendesk


How much is the business travel industry worth?

Business travel is expected to grow to an annual spend of $1.6 trillion by 2020.

$1.3 trillion was spent on global business travel in 2017.

$325 is the daily cost of corporate travel in the US.

$1425 is spent for every employee sent on a trip.

$180 per night is the average cost of a hotel.

21% of travel spend accounts for meals, while flights account for 17%.

The business travel industry is an area with big spending potential. The average amount spent is $1425 for every employee sent on a trip, with $325 being the average cost of business travel per day. The annual spend is expected to increase from $1.3 trillion in 2017 to $1.6 trillion by 2020. Most of the spending is on meals (21%), compared to 17% that accounts for flights. This aligns with the fact that most work trips are less than 250 miles away from the point of origin and would, therefore, have cheaper shorter flights. Less than 7% of destinations are more than 1,000 miles away from their point of origin so there is only a small percentage of spending towards long-haul flights.


SourcesAlltopstartups, Financesonline, Travelperk


How does technology affect business travel & bookings?

48% of U.S. travellers use their mobile phones to book, plan and research their business trip.

Over 70% of travellers in the US use their smartphones when traveling.

Majority of modern travellers (57%) want to have a single application to manage their planning and booking needs.

31% of travellers like the idea of using voice-activated apps for their travel queries.

80% of business travellers prefer to use automated digital expense reporting for their trips.

55% expect to go on completely cashless trips within a decade.

1 in 5 travellers wants to use augmented reality so that it is easy to check out their destination before a trip.

79% of travellers predict that using virtual reality tech for accommodation will be normalized in the next 10 years.

81% expect hotels to use virtual, reception-free check-in processes in the future.

55% of business travellers would allow their employers to use GPS tracking to monitor their location during out-of-town trips.

71% wouldn’t post about a work trip on social media.

Technology is a significant platform for researching, planning and booking business trips with 48% of US travellers using their mobile phones to book, plan and research their trip. The use of technology when it comes to checking in to accommodation and doing research on destinations is predicted to increase with 81% of travellers expecting to see hotels use virtual, reception-free check-in and 79% travellers predicting that virtual reality technology will be normalized to explore accommodation options in the future. 70% of business travellers use their smartphone while travelling and 80% of would prefer to use automated apps to calculate their expenses, this demonstrates the importance of the use of technology and travel. Despite the use of technology, links between corporate travel and social media posts are not shown to be on the rise with 71% employees saying they wouldn’t post about a business trip online. 




How do people travel and book business travel?

Booking a direct flight is the most important factor that influences which flight a European corporate traveler will book.

26% of them choosing a direct connection as the top factor, 19% choosing price, 23% choosing schedule convenience and 20% choosing airport location.

79% of travel companies increased in revenue when they provided live chat.

28% of millennial business travellers book hotels directly on a hotel’s website.

10% book hotels through an online travel agency, 7% book with a third-party reseller like Kayak and 14% book with a travel agent.

700,000 companies now use Airbnb for work.

16% of business trips are taken in airplanes.

For trips between 750 and 1,500 miles, 85% travel by air and for trips more than 1,500 miles, 90% are made by air.

Travel websites offering a live chat feature increased 79% of their revenue when travellers were making bookings. 48% of U.S travellers using their mobile phones to book, plan and research their trips mean that online booking platforms are a popular way to book business travel. Only 16% of work trips are taken in airplanes, however, for the trips that are over 1,500 miles, 90% of the trips are made by air, concluding that air is the most popular form of transport for long-distance journeys. When it comes to booking a flight, for 26% travellers, booking a direct journey is the most important factor influencing which flight to book with 19% choosing price, 23% choosing schedule convenience and 20% choosing airport location.


SourcesTravelperk, FitSmallBusiness


What percentage of businesses offer travel insurance for business travel?

40% of organisations don’t have a travel policy.

60% of business travellers don’t understand the need for a company travel policy.

More than 50% of travellers are allowed by companies to book their trip however they prefer.

27% of travellers say that their company’s travel policy is poor.

52% of employees say that their company’s travel policy only slightly aligns with their company culture.

69% of business travellers comply with their company’s' travel policies.

Corporate travellers often book accommodations out-of-policy because they are not close enough to the destination (37%) or because they found a better hotel within their budget (37%). 

Despite only 60% of companies having a travel policy, 31% of travellers don’t even comply with them. This may be due to 27% of employees saying that their company’s travel policy is poor and 52% saying that their company’s travel policy only slightly aligns with their company culture. Business travellers may often book their accommodations out-of-the-policy for several reasons such as the location and the budget.




What are the most common problems business travellers face?

2% of business travellers are concerned about delayed flights.

8% worry about limited airplane seat availability.

41% are concerned about earning frequent flyer points.

27% of business travellers say that the most tiring aspects of travel are the waiting time.

25% worry about having no direct flights.

4% worry about the ease of passing through security.

22% of travellers feel that the ride to and from the airport is tiring.

16% find early or late departures/arrivals exhausting.

Despite 83% of employees seeing business travel as a perk, there are some negatives involved with travelling for work. 16% find the early or late departures tiring, and 73.2% are concerned about delayed flights. Although the option to have a direct flight is influential in the travel-making decision, only 25% of business travellers worry about having no direct flights.