Gloomy Business Travel Outlook Tempered by Possible New Opportunities
Combining Remote Work With Vacations Could Provide Lifeline to Business Travel
With employees continuing to return to offices, ongoing vaccination progress and the reopening of many international borders, the time would seem to be ripe for the return of business travel.
Results from a November STR survey of 600 global travelers indicates that more consumers are less likely to travel for overnight business amid the pandemic: 44% in November 2021 versus 39% in July 2021. Additionally, net propensity to travel, which is the difference between those more likely and less likely to travel, was down 30% in November 2021 after coming in down 27% in July 2021.
Analysis of business travel sentiments across different age groups reveals only a slightly less negative sentiment among younger business travelers compared with those in older age groups. The narrowing sentiment highlights that the views of younger and older audiences are converging. This may be due to increased confidence in traveling among older audiences because of vaccine success as well as decreased confidence among younger travelers, who are typically less risk-averse — possibly due to fears of long-haul COVID-19, which is reported to be more prevalent in younger people.