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Global business travel - statistics & facts

Business or corporate travel is the tourism segment that focuses on people who travel for work or professional purposes and the related tourism services. This branch also includes the meetings industry, which refers to business events, conferences, congresses, trade fairs, and exhibitions. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), business travel accounted for 20 percent of the global tourism expenditure in 2021. In that year, it was estimated that business travelers spent more than 740 billion U.S. dollars worldwide, with Chinese tourists topping the ranking of the biggest business travel spenders.

Business travel costs

Business trips can be more expensive than holiday trips. But unlike leisure tourists, business travelers are rarely expected to pay for their trips and it is usually the employer’s company that foots the bill. In the last quarter of 2021, Zurich was the world’s most expensive city for business travel, followed by London. However, two U.S. American cities led the ranking in terms of accommodation, with daily hotel costs above 300 U.S. dollars. During that same period, South Korea’s capital was ranked as the most expensive city for business tourists by daily food costs.

COVID-19 impact on business travel

In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic turned the tourism sector upside-down. As a result, companies were forced to restrict the travel of its employees. In early 2022, seven out of ten respondents surveyed worldwide reported that their government’s travel restrictions had hurt the outcome of their company. At around that same time, the policy uncertainty, its deviation from country to country, and the strict requirements for traveling were considered the main obstacles for international business travelers worldwide. Despite this, most business travel professionals expected a positive development for this tourism segment in the post-pandemic era.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 34 most important statistics relating to "Global business travel".

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