Inflation and recession threaten corporate travel more than Covid

Rising prices and the growing threat of recession will take a toll on corporate travel volumes and the sector’s recovery along with any new Covid-19 variants or fresh peaks in Covid-infection rates.

That is according to a Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) survey which suggests a majority of frequent business travellers and corporate travel decision makers expect inflation, recession and Covid to have an impact.

GBTA surveyed more than 400 business travellers in July along with 44 global corporate finance executives across four of the world’s regions and described overall sentiment as “positive”.

But it noted the survey confirmed “Covid concerns are taking a back seat to macroeconomic and geopolitical issues”.

The survey found three-quarters (73%) of business traveller respondents and 38 out of 44 global financial executives thought inflation would impact on travel volumes

Two thirds (69%) of business travellers and three quarters of corporate finance executives were concerned a recession would impact travel.

Two-thirds (68%) of business travellers and more than three-quarters of finance executives expected high Covid-infection rates and new Covid variants to have an impact on their travel plans.

At the same time, more than three-quarters of the respondents said they expect to travel more for work in 2023 than this year and 85% of business travellers said they need to travel to meet their business goals.

More than four out of five corporate finance executives (84%) were confident their travel spending would increase next year compared with 2022.

A separate GBTA report, the 2023 Global Business Travel Forecast produced with travel management platform CWT, suggested flight and hotel prices would rise more than 8% year on year in 2023.

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