Citing “headwinds” including inflation and supply chain shortages, the Global Business Travel Association on Monday projected global business travel spending won’t reach pre-pandemic levels until 2026, two years later than its prior projection, issued in November.
The projection, issued in the 2022 GBTA Business Travel Index Outlook, includes a forecast that total 2022 global business travel spending will increase 33.8 percent year over year to $993 billion.
That’s a bit lighter than GBTA projected in its prior BTI outlook, which forecast 38 percent growth in 2022. That outlook also included a projection that business travel spending would reach 2019 levels in 2024, but GBTA now forecasts that won’t happen until 2026.
GBTA in a statement suggested “many macroeconomic conditions deteriorated rapidly in early 2022,” affecting the business travel recovery.
The association cited several factors as obstacles to rapid recovery, including “persistent inflation, high energy prices, severe supply chain challenges and labor shortages, a significant economic slowdown and lockdowns in China, and major regional impacts due to the war in Ukraine as well as emerging sustainability considerations.”
GBTA now projects 2025 business travel spending of $1.399 trillion, close but shy of the 2019 figure of $1.431 trillion. The association forecasts 2026 volume of $1.472 trillion.
“To understand the headwinds that have been impacting a more accelerated recovery for global business travel, all you have to do is look at the news headlines since the beginning of 2022,” GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang said in a statement. “The factors impacting many industries around the world are also anticipated to impact global business travel recovery into 2025.”
The BTI, the 14th GBTA has published, studies business travel spending in 73 countries, according to the association. It was developed in conjunction with Rockport Analytics and was sponsored by Mastercard.