Spending on business travel is expected to reach two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022, with the Middle East and Asia-Pacific spearheading the recovery.
The findings are part of a new report from the World Travel & Tourism Council and McKinsey & Company.
The report, Adapting to the Covid-19 endemic: the outlook for business travel, predicts an increase in business travel spending of 26% in 2021 and a further increase of 34% in 2022, after a collapse of 61% in 2020.
In the Middle East, business travel spending is expected to grow 49% this year, more than leisure travel spending at 36%, followed by a 32% increase in 2022. Asia spending – Pacific are expected to increase by 32%. this year and 41% next year.
The recovery in Europe is expected to be slower, with growth of 36% this year and 28% in 2022, while the figures for Africa are 36% this year and 23% next year, and for the Americas 14 % growth this year and 35% in 2022.
Julia Simpson, CEO and President of the WTTC, said: âBusiness travel is starting to take off. We expect a two-thirds return by the end of 2022. Business travel has been seriously affected, but our research shows some room for optimism with Asia-Pacific and the Middle East in the first place.
The report highlights the continued importance of business travel and the expenses it generates for global economic growth. The WTTC says that in 2019, most major countries depended on business travel for 20% of their tourism, of which 75-85% was domestic.
He goes on to say that although business travel made up only 21.4% of global travel in 2019, it was responsible for the highest spending in many destinations, making it essential for the recovery of the whole. the travel industry and its many stakeholders.
Before the pandemic, he says, business travel accounted for around 70% of all global premium hotel chains’ revenue, while between 55% and 75% of airline profits came from business travelers, who accounted for about 12% of passengers.