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Google data suggest 30% of pre-pandemic business travel may be gone forever

29 November 2021 (Edited 29 November 2021)

Cost reduction, paperwork, sustainability and work-life balance are driving changes to companies' travel planning

Google travel data from recent months suggest that although business travel may recover to 70% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022, that 30% gap may become permanent.

Factors driving companies to change how they manage travel include:

  • High cost of travel vs. virtual meetings
  • Complexity of pandemic-related travel paperwork
  • Desire to reduce carbon footprint, and other sustainability considerations
  • Employee resistance to giving up the more enjoyable work-life balance experienced during the pandemic

Those of you in the leisure-travel business - especially those in big-city destinations - shouldn't be breathing a sigh of relief prematurely, because of the impact these changes to company-sponsored travel are going to have on "bleisure" travel. Consider these numbers from a survey by Expedia:

  • About 60% of business trips by Americans are in fact bleisure trips.
  • More than 1 in 3 business travelers make a bleisure trip every 2-3 months.
  • Major cities are the most common bleisure destinations.
  • The average length of a bleisure trip is 6.8 days.
  • 35% of bleisure travelers take other people along.

If that scenario applies to you, you may need to up your leisure-marketing game for 2022 and beyond.

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David Boggs    - David
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