GBTA: Economic ‘headwinds’ to delay full business travel recovery

 Tuesday, August 16, 2022 


The return of global business travel spending to pre-pandemic levels is set to be delayed by two years until 2026 due to “headwinds” such as inflation and supply chain shortages, according to an updated forecast by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

The latest GBTA Business Travel Index Outlook includes a forecast that total global business travel spending in 2022 will increase 33.8 per cent year-on-year to $993 billion.

This figure is a bit lower than GBTA projected in its previous BTI Outlook in November 2021, which forecast 38 per cent growth in 2022.

That outlook also included a projection that business travel spending would reach 2019 levels in 2024, but GBTA now forecasts that won’t happen until 2026.

GBTA said in a statement that many macroeconomic conditions deteriorated rapidly in early 2022, affecting the recovery of business travel.

The association cited several factors as obstacles to rapid recovery, including persistent inflation, high energy prices, severe supply chain challenges and labour shortages, a significant economic slowdown and lockdowns in China, and major regional impacts due to the war in Ukraine as well as emerging sustainability considerations.

GBTA now projects 2025 business travel spending of $1.399 trillion, just shy of the 2019 figure of $1.431 trillion. The association then forecasts expenditure of $1.472 trillion in 2026.

To understand the headwinds that have been impacting a more accelerated recovery for global business travel, all you have to do is look at the news headlines since the beginning of 2022, GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang said in a statement.

The factors impacting many industries around the world are also anticipated to impact global business travel recovery into 2025.

The 14th annual BTI Outlook studies business travel spending in 73 countries, according to the association. It was developed in conjunction with Rockport Analytics and was sponsored by Mastercard.

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