GBTA Poll: Positive Signs for Business Travel in 2022

GBTA conducted the poll among its members and other business travel industry professionals across the globe from January 4-13, 2022. A total of 832 responses were received.

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New variant developments, government restrictions, and international policy inconsistencies are currently hindering a more accelerated return for global business travel. However, the industry continues to reflect progress and optimism in its long-view expectations for 2022, according to the latest poll from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). 

“Here at the start of a new year, the business travel industry and business travelers continue to face a dynamically changing landscape due to Omicron," said Suzanne Neufang, CEO, GBTA.  "One comment received from a poll respondent readily sums it up: ‘Uncertainty is a huge wet blanket on [business] travel.’ Despite the wave of Omicron and the ripple of challenges it has created, there are positive signs, and industry professionals continue to be optimistic for the long-term outlook of global business travel.” 

This poll is the 25th in GBTA’s COVID-19 Recovery series tracking the pulse of global travel buyers, supplier members and other stakeholders as the industry navigates business travel during pandemic times. Here are some of the January poll highlights:

  • Optimism for the long haul. Three in four travel managers expect business travel volume at their company will be much (17%) or somewhat (58%) higher in 2022 than it was in 2021. Another one in 10 (12%) expect business travel to remain about the same as 2021, but few (5%) expect it to be lower. 
    • Among travel suppliers and travel management companies (TMCs), three in four expect their company’s revenue in 2022 from business travel to be much (25%) or somewhat (51%) higher compared to 2021. An additional one in 10 (13%) suppliers and TMCs expect company revenue to remain about the same as 2021. 
    • Travel managers based in the UK (66%) and Europe (62%) were more likely than those in North America (33%) to cite government policies as being the single greatest barrier to business travel. Conversely, North American travel managers (27%) were more likely than those in Europe (15%) to say company policies restricting employees from traveling is the biggest barrier. 
    • ​​​​Other business travel barriers included company policies restricting employees from traveling (24%), employee unwillingness/reluctance to travel (9%), offices not being fully open (9%), and travel budget freeze/cost savings (6%). 

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