WTTC Report on Adapting to Endemic COVID-19 – The Outlook for Business Travel
The report sets out the perspective of WTTC in relation to business travel and how it may adapt to endemic COVID-19 based on collaborative research between WTTC and McKinsey & Company in addition to insights from key stakeholders.
Vaccine rollout and virus management strategies are identified as key determinants of how swiftly business travel will resume, with policy shifts likely well into the future having a potential impact on travel and tourism.
Business travel demand has recovered more slowly than that for leisure, while there has been a step change in the adoption of virtual meetings and conferencing, with a trend now towards a ‘hybrid’ solution.
Business travel spending was estimated to have declined by 61% in 2020 (more than the 49% decline in leisure spending), but growth of 26% in 2021 and 34% in 2022 taking expenditure back to two-thirds of its 2019 level.
Contributors note that as well as actual restrictions demand for business travel may be tempered in the future by traveller psychology, whereby individuals may not feel comfortable travelling to a particular destination even if this is permitted.
The report highlights the importance of decisions made at a national level but points out that in 2019 twenty countries accounted for 64% of global tourism spending.
Some of those interviewed for the study believe that some corporate travel will not return due to greater use of technology, as well as growing pressure on businesses to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable policies.