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Multiday Business Trips Make a Strong Comeback

Survey finds more than half of domestic business travelers are already on the road, but “post-pandemic travel trepidations linger”

The majority of business travelers (61 percent) report having already taken their first multiday domestic business trip of the year, but international business travel is slower to recover. This according to a survey of 1,700 experienced travelers by Global Rescue, a travel risk and crisis response provider.

Business travel owes the comeback to rising COVID-19 vaccination rates and the easing of government quarantine and testing mandates. Nevertheless, noted Dan Richards, Global Rescue CEO, “Post-pandemic travel trepidations linger.”

Meanwhile the survey found international business travel is recovering but at a much slower pace. Fewer than one in five business travelers (17 percent) say they have already taken their first multiday international business trip of the year. More than a quarter (27 percent) expect to do so between now and March 2022, while nearly half of respondents (45 percent) have no plans for international business travel.

Of those who travel for business, more than half (54 percent) say their company is already using or is going to use a hybrid on-site and off-site work model. However the majority of business travelers (61 percent) say such a hybrid work model would not reduce their business travel despite the availability of online conferencing apps.

The survey reflects the outlook of industry leaders and analysts projecting a stronger-than-expected comeback for business travel in the fourth quarter carrying over into 2022. Despite the surge in COVID-19 cases attributed to the delta variant, hospitality forecasters at CBRE predict a return to pre-pandemic levels by fourth quarter 2023, and in the most recent earnings calls, executives at both United and Delta expressed confidence in the rebound in business travel demand.