Corporate mentions indicate business travel could return in 2022


Leading data and analytics firm GlobalData has seen evidence through analysis of company filings that suggests companies are looking to resume business travel, which has all but disappeared during the pandemic.

As countries around the world began to drop their entry requirements and COVID-related restrictions in 2021, the number of “business travel” mentions made by company, across all industries, increased by 17% , then by an additional 4% in 2022. .


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“Zoom calls have been quite frequent throughout 2020 and 2021 for sales, marketing or other activities,” observed Rinaldo Pereira, business fundamentals analyst at GlobalData. “An increase in mentions of business travel by company indicates that companies are looking to restore face-to-face meetings despite the massive number of COVID-19 cases around the world.”

So far in 2022, more than 1,500 public companies have discussed business travel. Players in the travel and tourism sector are increasingly optimistic about the return of employees to companies in various sectors, in the hope that this will create increased demand for business travel and help support the recovery of the sector. .

“Airlines have rapidly increased their spring/summer schedules for 2022 as vaccination programs have shown solid progress in many key markets for the travel industry, leading to increased booking confidence in 2021. “, remarked Ralph Hollister, travel and tourism analyst at GlobalData. “However, many airlines have struggled to hire, vet and train new staff to meet the unexpected demand for international flights from travelers and are now having to cancel hundreds of flights.”

Many companies are discussing a return to using business travel to help generate more leads and seem confident they can regain lost ground in 2020 and 2021, when trade shows and in-person marketing activities have been mostly suspended.

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Chart of mentions of ‘Business Travel’ in company documents. (Image courtesy of GlobalData)

However, this observed trend does not apply to all companies or all sectors in the same way. Companies operating in sectors such as financial services, retail, construction and technology lead the pack in terms of mentions of “business travel” recorded by company. Those whose documentation indicated optimism that business travel would resume this year included household names like PayPal, American Express, Microsoft and Vinci SA.

“While optimism around business travel has grown in 2022, it’s also important to note that many companies will continue to offer work-from-home options for employees and reduce business travel budgets. “, added Pereira. “With the uncertainties that persist due to the ongoing pandemic, companies should only consider business travel when necessary.”

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