Must-Know Business Travel Statistics: The State of the Industry in 2023

Business travel has experienced many changes within the last 20 years due to technological advancements, economic shifts, security and illness concerns, and societal changes. Despite the global pandemic slowing all types of travel in 2020 and 2021, we are finally starting to return to pre pandemic levels and get back to normal. In fact, as of July, 2023, travel spending was up 4.1% from 2022 during the same time period.

Business travel statistics provide invaluable insights that help influence decision-making for corporations, businesses, airlines, hotels, and travel agencies to help with things such as:

  • Budgeting and cost management
  • Demand forecasting
  • Marketing and promotions
  • Pricing strategies
  • Infrastracture and development
  • Market analysis
  • Logistics and planning

We have compiled all of the statistics you need to know from reliable websites about:

  • The importance of business level
  • Business travel spending
  • Business travelers demographics and preferences
  • Travel policies and employee perks
  • Impact of technology
  • Business travel and mental health
  • Bleisure
  • Sustainability
  • Post-COVID trends

Importance of Business Travel

Travel is an essential component of many businesses. In fact, at least 35% of businesses in the United States engage in travel throughout the year.

The main objective of travel in 2022 included internal meetings, training programs, team-building events, and skills development sessions to help grow the company’s skills and revenue.

90.6% of corporate travel managers believe business travel is crucial to the growth of their company.

91.3% of business travelers also said that business travel is crucial to company growth.

According to the The U.S. Travel Association travel increases productivity through new sales, better customer retention, and improved employee satisfaction, networking, and industry knowledge.

Increased employee satisfaction is likely due to the fact 83% of employees think business travel is a job perk.

The U.S. Travel Association also found a positive association between the level of business travel spending and an industry’s performance, meaning the more an industry spends, the better profits they gain.

According to research done in The Role of Business Travel in the U.S. Economic Recovery, for every dollar spent invested in business travel, there is an ROI of $9.50 in return.

References :



Businesses in the US


Corporate Travel Managers


Business Travelers



Business Travel Spending

Companies spend $111.7 on business travel each year , for an average of $1,286 per work trip.

Corporate airfares are about 9% higherthan pre-pandemic prices.

As of October 2023, market room rates spiked 20-25% over 2019 prices and are expected to rise by another 9% in the U.S. and UK next year.

Spending across the United States and Europe is expected to shoot to 57% of 2019 levels in the first half of 2023, and surge to almost three quarters of the pre pandemic mark by the end of the year.

Despite the increase in the cost of travel, 71% of U.S. companies expect a full recovery in travel spending by the end of 2024.

In 2023, 45% of companies admitted to limiting trip frequency to control costs. This was much less than the 72% reported in 2022, as many businesses instead seek to limit the cost per trip through cheaper lodging and flights.

References :





Market Room Rates


Spending across US & Europe


US Companies


Limiting Trip Frequency

Business Travel : Demographics & Preferences

The demographics of business travelers are very different from general travelers.

60% of business travelers are male and 50% are older than 45 years old.

Two-thirds of corporate travelers have a bachelor’s degree and an average income of more than $82,000 yearly.

For all travelers, hotel demand was the same or slightly less as of July 2023 as it was in 2022.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, three-fourths of business trips are less than 250 miles from the point of departure

While Uber and Taxis are still used, business travelers prefer to rent personal cars and utilize them in 81% of business trips.

However, even with business travelers preferring to rent cars, because road trip travel demand has increased, overall car rental rates in the U.S. dropped by 15% in 2020.

Of travelers that do use Uber, Lyft, and taxis, 65% have stopped utilizing ridesharing in the U.S. due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Tech companies prefer AirBnB accommodations, In fact, their bookings doubled between 2017 and 2018.

In 2018, more than 700,000 businesses utilized AirBnB for corporate trips.

References :


Finally, business travelers want to be taken care of through automation opportunities and face-to-face interactions. In fact:

  • Want real-time notifications

  • Desire automatic flight rebooking options

  • Prefer face-to-face interaction with airline agents


Travel Policies and Employee Perks

We know how much businesses are spending, and what business travelers prefer, so how are businesses controlling costs and what are some of the employee perks they offer.

The most common ways businesses reduce costs are by:

  • Picking cheaper or alternative lodging options

  • Negotiating preferred rates

  • Picking lower-cost flights

  • Increasing compliance to booking process

  • Limiting travel frequency


In addition, according to a 2022 survey, there has been a big shift in the incorporation of non-hotel accommodation into travel policies in the U.S.

45% of businesses have non-hotel lodging in their corporate booking tools versus only 9% last year.

57% have agreements with specific branded apartment/home rental providers, up from 23% in 2022.

European companies do trail behind American ones in formal arrangements such as booking tools and agreements with specific providers. However, 1 in 4 businesses still reimburse employees for non-hotel stays.

As far as perks, according to Expedia’s corporate travel trend report, 29% of employees will take a business-leisure trip, and 28% will take a flexible vacation by booking accommodations for both business and personal travel.

References :


Impact of Technology

According to a recent report on business travel trends by TripActions, 48.5% of employees struggle to find reliable information about changes in travel procedures.

However, 79% business travel managers say that partnering with travel management companies leads to more efficient processes and higher savings.

As far as app utilization goes, as of 2019, 51% of passengers around the world used a smartphone or other device to check-in online.

27% of global passengers use an airline app to make last-minute purchases such as adding an additional bag, upgrading their seat, or access to the lounge.

The majority of modern travelers (57%) wish they had a single application to manage their planning and booking needs.

57% of travelers also want to have a mobile app that would allow them to track their luggage in real-time.

Finally, 31% of travelers say they like the idea of using voice-activated assistants for their travel queries.

References :



Travel Managers


Used Smartphone


Used Airline App


Wants Mobile App


Used Voice-Activated

Business Travel and Mental Health

Our list wouldn’t be complete without including statistics of the impact of business travel on mental health.

79% of employees say that their business travel experience has an impact on their overall job satisfaction.

According to the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, business travel is connected with smoking, alcohol consumption, alcohol dependence, lack of exercise, poor sleep hygiene, anxiety, and depression.

However, having a strong support system, maintaining connections, and self-care strategies like exercise and eating healthy help mitigate these risks.

References :


The leading concerns of business travelers are as follows:

  • Delayed flights

  • Limited airline seat availability

  • Earning frequent flier points

  • Ease of passing through security


According to the American Psychological Association, the following company’s offer the best mental health care to their employees:

  • Blackrock
  • YMCA
  • F5 Networks
  • Ernst and Young
  • National League of Cities
  • American Public Health Association


Bleisure is travel that combines business and leisure travel into one trip.

Bleisure trips increased 20% between 2016 and 2017.

Business travelers enjoy exploring new places and cultures at a rate of 41%, while 17% enjoy meeting with clients and teams.

80% of corporate travelers make sure to squeeze in fun activities while on a business trip, instead of working the entire time.

Almost half of corporate trips are extended for leisure after their work has been completed.

82% of travelers expect support from their superiors when taking a break during their business trips.

References :


Employees want their companies to consider bleisure in their travel policies by:

  • Including a budget for extracurriculars

  • Giving them an option to bring a guest on the trip

  • Provide employees with the flexibility to extend their trips for leisure

  • Given a budget for exercise and similar lifestyle activities during the trip


Finally, 37% said that leisure activities should have an equal length as business activities during a corporate trip.


Our list wouldn’t be complete without touching on sustainability to support our planet.

According to a recent survey, 1 in 7 U.S. companies and 1 in 5 European companies expect sustainability in 2023. Furthermore, just over 40% of each say they are working to optimize their corporate travel policies to decrease environmental impact.

4 in 10 European companies and 1 in 3 U.S. companies say they need to reduce their travel per employee by more than 20% by 2030 to meet sustainability targets.

Many companies are building this into their policies, and over 40% are in the process of implementing a structure to assign carbon-emission budgets to teams alongside financial budgets.

A 2022 survey of business travelers revealed respondents are concerned about the impact of business travel on the environment, and 72% are willing to change their travel habits to move towards sustainability.

Finally, nearly 75% of those surveyed believe that employers should try to offset their business travel to reduce their carbon footprint.

References :


Post-COVID Trends

Last on the list, you won’t find before 2019 statistics, so let’s talk about how travel has changed since the beginning of the Covid pandemic started.

Almost a quarter of large and small companies say their firms have already returned to pre-covid travel lets, and 34% anticipate a full recovery by the end of 2023.

Covid lockdowns brought travel-related decisions into the boardroom for many companies overnight and when and how to return required a strategic approach. When asked about 5 different approaches companies could take toward considering the value side of the travel equation:

  • 70% said they evaluate and weigh potential impacts such as costs, employee retention, revenue generation, health, and safety

  • 66% identify and prioritize trips generating more significant outcomes

  • 62% Regularly assess travel strategy at the C-suite or board level

  • 60% Systematically value each trip’s justifiability and goal

  • 46% Attach measurable KPIs such as ROI and impact on productivity to travel their budget


7-18% of corporate travel will be replaced with virtual meetings in 2023 and 2024.

As attendees have begun to return to industry events, many companies are adjusting their internal events. 50% report they have split larger gatherings into smaller ones, 44% have adopted a hybrid approach.

In addition, 54% of European respondents and 42% of Americans say they are integrating more clients into internal events.

Finally, the impact of travel restrictions on global business interaction have been very clear.

U.S respondents expect international trips to account for 33% of 2023 spending, up from 2021 in Deliotte’s 2022 survey survey and close to pre-pandemic levels.

Europe however, is still catching up, respondents expect 28% of spending to go to trips beyond the continent, down from 34% in 2019.

References :



Virtual Meetings


European Respondents


Large Gatherings


Spends going trips

Career Change Statistics

You may be wondering why we included Searchant’s career change statistics. When reviewing business travel, it’s useful to know why and how people are changing careers because it will ultimately impact how individuals travel. Some key statistics include:

  • According to our research 82.84% of those surveyed have changed careers in their lifetime.

  • The primary reason for their career change was job satisfaction at 45.60%. Followed by salary (21.60%), work life balance (18.40%), and finally career growth (14.40%).

  • 61.67% of individuals faced unemployment during a career change.

  • After changing careers, 90.91% stated their salary increased after the career change.

  • 95.04% said they found increased job satisfaction after changing careers.

  • And finally, every person (97.48%) consider their career change a success!



Though business travel did slow during the Covid pandemic, statistics show that it has raised almost back to pre-pandemic levels. However, there have been many changes put into place during the pause in travel.

These include:

  • More safety and health measures,
  • Traveling close to home,
  • A stronger focus on reducing costs by leadership by reducing costs per trip, and in some cases removing travel with lower ROI,
  • More effort put forth to meet sustainable travel requirements, and
  • An increase in the likelihood that a trip is bleisure and serves two purposes.

In the future it would be important to continue to assess:

  • Whether companies begin to shift to more virtual options, especially for things like employee relationship building,
  • Track the number of business travelers that continue to use first and business class, or whether they switch to couch to reduce costs, and
  • Where employees stay during their business trips, and if this changes if the trip is considered a ‘bleisure’ trip.