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American Express Global Business Travel Business Travel Barometer: 10 Takeaways

On the occasion of 31me edition of the EVP organized this Wednesday, April 13 in Paris, American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) has unveiled the results of the 2022 edition of its Business Travel Barometer. These results were obtained from a panel comprised of corporate business travel decision makers and are based on the trends and economic activity they foresee in France, of which 75 % of large groups and 25 % of SMEs. The barometer is also based on Amex GBT research, as well as third-party economic work.

The 2022 Barometer addresses the economic challenges of the sector around two main axes: value and people, at the center of the company’s concerns. Here are the 10 key points:

  1. Economic activity resumes faster than business travel
    The COVID-19 pandemic highlights an uneven recovery between economic activity in general and the business travel sector in particular. Business travel was reduced by 90 % during the first lockdowns while the CAC40 fell by 26 % However, the performance of French companies quickly recovered to reach pre-COVID-19 levels in just twelve months. At the same time, business travel reached 50% of the 2019 level in early 2022.
  2. Companies value employee travel
    From a relational point of view and within the framework of the management of a company, business trips are considered a fundamental means of activity. 91% of the panel believe that business travel is a necessary expense or a contribution to the development of the company.
  3. Internal displacement will increase
    Among the companies surveyed, 70% of travel managers believe that internal employee travel will be important because it will increase with the new teleworking conditions but will have to be supervised.
  4. Traveler safety and satisfaction are priorities
    The vast majority of companies that responded to the survey believe that visibility into the health and safety conditions of travelers are the most decisive criteria for resuming travel (at 85% and 81% respectively). Similarly, traveler satisfaction is the second most important goal for travel decision makers by 2022 for 49 % of respondents.
  5. Price increases expected
    The macroeconomic situation as well as the market allow us to predict a general trend in price inflation. The airline market will be affected by various structuring factors, such as rising energy prices, investments in eco-fuels and new NDC prices. Finally, the short-term car rental market has already suffered from difficulties during the pandemic, such as a lack of supply from manufacturers.
  6. Cost optimization is key in 2022
    According to the panel interviewed, the airline category remains the top cost optimization priority for 2022.
    Driving the car and rail rental categories has become a new priority for the companies surveyed. Car rental is an important issue, especially for large companies. In fact, 69% of those surveyed consider it an expense to watch.
  7. The business travel agency remains an indispensable partner
    According to the survey, 78 % of respondents say that travel agencies have a purpose that is clearly visible. With 83% of positive answers, large companies value the services of travel agencies more. For more than 80% of respondents, the most important criteria for the role of the travel agency are data security, duty of care (duty to protect travelers), reporting and data management . In addition to the travel agency, the different tools made available to companies and their travelers must provide solutions with high added value.
  8. A balance to find between the human and the digital
    The use of digital technology for travel management is popular with many travelers. In fact, 83% of those surveyed want to be able to register through the mobile app and 74% want to book their trips through this channel. However, the crisis context has highlighted the importance of human contact: the volume of manual interactions per transaction recorded doubled during the first lockdown to return to thresholds equivalent to 2019 at the end of the second half of 2020.
  9. Trends in monitoring the carbon footprint
    53 % of respondents say they measure their carbon emissions and 65 % are large companies. The priority of measuring and implementing actions to reduce CO2 seems to depend on the maturity of the corporate travel program and the context.
  10. A forecast of recovery in 2023-2024
    Based on recovery trends in 2021 and early 2022, a return to levels similar to 2019 is expected in 2024 for air. And a faster recovery of the railway with levels equivalent to those of 2019 in early 2023.

About American Express International Business Travel
American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) is the world’s leading platform for business travel. It provides solutions and technologies for business travel management, expense reporting, and meetings and events for companies of all sizes. We have created the most efficient shopping center in the field of business travel so that companies can benefit from the most complete content that provides real added value along with unique experiences. With our travel experts in more than 140 countries, our customers and travelers trust a partner of choice with American Express Global Business Travel.

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