Middle East leads Business Travel recovery – WTTC report
Worldwide business travel spending looks set to rise by more than a quarter this year and reach two thirds of pre-pandemic levels by 2022, according to a new World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) report released in collaboration with McKinsey & Company called ‘Adapting to Endemic Covid-19: The Outlook for Business Travel’.
Considering this year and next, WTTC data shows which regions around the world are leading the revival in business travel, led by the Middle East where business spending is set to rise by 49 percent this year, stronger than leisure spending at 36 percent, followed by a 32% rise next year.
Business spending in Asia-Pacific is set to rise by 32 percent this year, and 41 percent next year while Europe is expected to see a rise by 36 percent this year, followed by a 28 percent rise next year. Africa, ahead of the Americas will see spending is set to rise by 36 percent this year, slightly stronger than leisure spending followed by a 23 percent rise next year. Business travel spending is expected to rise by 14 percent this year in the Americas and by 35 percent in 2022.
The report details how global travel-related spending declined significantly from 2019 to 2020, as a result of COVID-19 and the ongoing restrictions to international mobility. It draws on research, analysis and in-depth interviews with Travel & Tourism business leaders to enable organisations to prepare for corporate travel in the post-pandemic world.
To speed up the recovery of business travel, the report recommends businesses adjust their revenue models, expand geographic focus, and improve digital services. The shared challenge of restoring business travel will also depend on ongoing collaboration and partnerships across the private and public sectors and nurturing new relationships.
WTTC’s report also shows significant changes over the past 18 months, particularly in demand, supply, and the overall operating environment which affect business travel. Demand for business travel has been slower to recover than leisure and corporate policies continue to influence business travel demand according to national travel restrictions.
WTTC believes while business travel will return, its uneven recovery will have important implications across the global Travel & Tourism sector, making private public partnerships even more important in the months and years ahead.