Business travel is making a comeback: interview with Susanna Peretti from BTM

Business travel recovery 2022: spending under 50%

There will be resumption of business travel in 2022? While more than a third of the year has already passed, a search for Deloitte shows that business travel still remains weak. To be precise, the expense remains below 50% compared to the pre-pandemic period with a sector that has «a different prognosis compared to leisure». The research was done by questioning 150 American travel managers in mid-February 2022.

Analyzing the interviews, the recovery of business travel in 2022 is still quite far from 3 years ago.

However, many corporate meetings that have been postponed in the past two years will finally take place. To a much lesser extent the conferences e i congresses, albeit driven by the resumption of part of the long-haul flights between Europe and North America. In this regard, the week of May 2nd Oag detects the capabilities of international airlines still 30.8% lower than in 2019, globally.

The uncertainties and the hopes? There war in Ukraine, first of all. Then that the China reopens its borders, which they currently provide grueling quarantine procedures even in third countries in the event of a stopover. Finally, theCovid emergency than with its variants it is far from over.

[Scopri le 7 compagnie aeree che volano direttamente tra Italia e Usa]

Business travel recovery 2022, technology threatens and opportunities

Before seeing the insiders’ perceptions on the possible resumption of business travel in 2022, Deloitte makes another consideration. That the video conferencing technology and video calls that emerged strongly in 2020 continue to replace some meetings in the future as well.

One figure above all: a year ago, when Deloitte made its first survey on business travel, it emerged that spending was just 10% in 2019. But there was optimism. Optimism immediately crippled by the resumption of virus with its variants. Widespread in Asia, however.

Another figure: again in June 2021, 34% of corporate travel managers expected to return to 50% of the budget by that year. But this was not the case, as this only happened for 8% of them. Hence, a rethinking and rescheduling of business trips for 2022.

In light of the “blow” of 2021, today only 17% expect a expense recovery for BT by the end of this year. It is worth repeating the comparison: in mid-2021, the expectation on recovery was 50%. Today it is 17%.

But there are gods positive signs.

Concerns about travel restrictions and employees’ desire to travel have dropped significantly. In return prices are rising related to business travel services. And this involves companies not a little.

The table below shows that travel managers are confident in the current year. Even if the full recovery of business travel in 2022 (compared to the levels of 2019) is definitely far away.

Ripresa business travel 2022

[Leggi di Mission media partner al Business travel show di Londra]

Business travel: good long-range prospects

According to the replies of the travel manager interviewed by Deloitte, in second quarter of 2022 there should be a strong acceleration.

In fact, more than a third of trips should resume, again compared to 2019. And it should go better in the second half, despite some uncertainties about the rules for flying abroad. Always quoting the Chinafor example, it is possible to reach it from Italy exclusively with direct flights.

However, in consideration of the temporary unavailability of these air connections, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Italy has announced that it is temporarily possible to make a stopover in a third country. At least until midnight on the day when direct flights will resume. This involves quarantine at the airport destination.

Returning to the research, in 2023, Deloitte expects spending to rise, but at milder rates than today. There remains the consolation that national travel – in any country – they will be easier. The barriers will persist for the international or intercontinental travel. This is due to last minute cancellations or fear of being quarantined overseas.

About international business travel: in 2019 they accounted for 25% of spending. In two years, even for one in four American companies, transatlantic travel will approach or even exceed the levels of 2019.

54% believe that business travel to the Old Continent it will still remain below prepandemic levels. Here, the table below gives an overview of the expected expenditure based on the geographical area of ​​destination.

Keep in mind that this Deloitte report dates back to before the invasion of Ukraine by the Russia.

Ripresa business travel 2022

The main driver of a return to international travel aligns with the main driver of domestic travel: the business reason. 43% of the interviewees, in fact, classify the sales visits among the two main reasons for sending travelers abroad in 2022.

Following: the leadership meetings (32%) and the work on customer projects (31%). Le conferences they face another difficult year. In fact, yesonly 15% ranked industry events among the top two reasons for international travel.

The crux of the increase in travel fares

Deloitte also highlighted that the propensity for business travel is proportional to telework. In the sense that the more employees return to the office, the more the company expects an increase in business travel expenses.

But there is the knot travel costs, which is one of the deterrents to recovery. To keep these costs under control, about 3 out of 4 companies will limit travel.

From the point of view of sustainability, instead, the consultancy notes that one-third of US travel managers said they are committed to reducing carbon emissions. One way to do this is to travel less. But the help of the Tmc will also be needed.

[Leggi (in inglese) l’aggiornamento di Business travel outlook 2022]

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