Google travel data from recent months suggest that the current 30% gap in business travel 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.
Comments on Google data suggest 30% of pre-pandemic business travel may be gone forever