How the COVID-19 recovery will affect the top 14 business travel markets

In the two and a half years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all industries have been fundamentally changed, from healthcare and retail to shipping and manufacturing. But one of the first and most closely related companies is the concept of the first travel of the virus.

The cancellation of flights, trains, and rental cars in March 2020 sent the travel industry into a spiral, with business travel particularly affected. Before the pandemic, the global travel industry was responsible for $1.4 trillion in direct spending. Despite the spending expected to grow by 38% this year will bring back global business travel spending by more than $1 trillion, which may not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024 at the earliest.

To better understand future travel trends in different global markets, TravelPerk used the Global Business Travel Association’s Business Travel Spending report to rank the countries that spend the most on domestic business travel and the world.

There are many challenges with predicting business travel during such uncertain times. GBTA’s report focuses on the ability to analyze high-quality data on flight and hotel demand and its relationship with economic and epidemiological data. Generally speaking, business travel activity rises and falls with international products. However, there is a notable break in the trend in 2020 because the pandemic has affected business travel to a greater extent than economic activity.

This study of international business travel activity examined a total of 73 countries from 44 different industries, and the 14th highest in this history. Russia was eliminated, among the top 15, at the end of the war in business travel.

The study focuses on business travel spending, productivity, and growth, and understands business travel spending as both external and international spending, considering the purpose of travel. business. Sources used are from the supply side, such as airlines, hotels, and rental car companies, as well as government, travel research organizations, and others.

The statistics presented include estimates drawn from actual business travel figures for 2019-2020 and estimates drawn from projected figures for 2021-2025. As part of the comprehensive list, the COVID-19 data from our World in Data has been included.

Since many countries still use different levels of travel restrictions, this can make it difficult for the sector to recover. An updated map of the most recent restrictions can be found on the World Travel Restrictions UN World Food Program website.

A woman waiting for a train in Japan.

#14. Japan

  • Estimated change in business travel spending 2019 to 2020: -57.0%
  • Change in business travel 2020 to 2021: -36.7%
  • Change in business travel from 2019 to 2025: + 17.5%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Cumulative COVID-19 cases (as of July 13, 2022): 9,901,424
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 79,457.69
  • Popular peak season: Feb. 1, 2022-Feb. 9, 2022 (758.28 cases per 1M people)

TravelPerk makes travel management easy, so companies can stay up-to-date with the latest travel restrictions and change or cancel trips with ease.

A man in gray is looking at his phone on the street while pulling a bag.

#13. United Kingdom

  • Estimated change in business travel spending 2019 to 2020: -60.0%
  • Change in business travel 2020 to 2021: -17.2%
  • Change in the number of business travelers from 2019 to 2025: + 12.4%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Cumulative COVID-19 cases: 23,159,426
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 344,219.20
  • Popular Peak Time: Dec. 29, 2021-Jan. 5, 2022 (2,718.57 cases per 1M people)
A man with a leather bag sits on the steps while working on his computer.

#12. India

  • Change in business travel from 2019 to 2020: -58.4%
  • Change in business travel 2020 to 2021: -14.4%
  • Estimated change in business travel from 2019 to 2025: +4.9%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Total COVID-19 cases: 43,689,989
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 31,039.44
  • Popularity peak period: May 1, 2021-May 8, 2021 (277.95 cases per 1M people)
Seoul, South Korea evening sky with orange sky.

#11. South Korea

  • Change in business travel from 2019 to 2020: -60.5%
  • Change in business travel 2020 to 2021: -14.3%
  • Change in business travel from 2019 to 2025: +1.1%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Cumulative COVID-19 cases: 18,641,278
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 359,660.97
  • Popularity peak period: May 10, 2022-May 17, 2022 (7,893.94 cases per 1M people)
Business travelers are waiting at the airport.

#10. Canada

  • Change in business travel from 2019 to 2020: -54.3%
  • Change in business travel 2020 to 2021: -10.7%
  • Estimated change in business travel from 2019 to 2025: +7.9%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Cumulative COVID-19 cases: 4,000,304
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 104,843.47
  • Popular Peak Time: Jan. 3, 2022-Jan. 10, 2022 (1,087.00 cases per 1M people)

Get an easy-to-use travel management app like TravelPerk’s app that includes features to track travel expenses and budget.

Aerial view of Cologne, Germany.

#9. Germany

  • Estimated change in business travel spending 2019 to 2020: -61.5%
  • Estimated change in business travelers 2020 to 2021: -7.8%
  • Change in business travel 2019 to 2025: +5.0%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Total COVID-19 cases: 29,460,249
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 353,204.17
  • Popularity peak period: March 24, 2022-March 31, 2022 (3,015.39 cases per 1M people)
Two businessmen are sitting by a fountain in Rome.

#8. Italy

  • Estimated change in business travel 2019 to 2020: -62.1%
  • Estimated change in business travelers 2020 to 2021: -4.3%
  • Change in business travel from 2019 to 2025: +9.7%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Cumulative COVID-19 cases: 19,778,911
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 333,875.77
  • Popular Peak Time: Jan. 7, 2022-Jan. 14, 2022 (3,069.22 cases per 1M people)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is the city and the water.

#7. Brazil

  • Change in business travel from 2019 to 2020: -55.4%
  • Estimated change in business travel 2020 to 2021: -2.7%
  • Estimated change in business travel 2019 to 2025: -0.4%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Cumulative COVID-19 cases: 33,076,779
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 154,329.13
  • Popular Peak Time: Jan. 22, 2022-Jan. 29, 2022 (882.89 cases per 1M people)
Mysterious entrepreneurs going to work in France.

#6. France

  • Estimated change in business travel 2019 to 2020: -56.6%
  • Estimated change in business travel 2020 to 2021: +1.4%
  • Change in the number of business travelers from 2019 to 2025: + 6.3%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Cumulative COVID-19 cases: 32,737,629
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 485,563.01
  • Popular Peak Time: Jan. 18, 2022-Jan. 25, 2022 (5,436.72 cases per 1M people)
The city of Izmir in Turkey at night.

#5. Turkey

  • Change in business travel from 2019 to 2020: -33.7%
  • Estimated change in business travel 2020 to 2021: +6.8%
  • Change in business travel trends 2019 to 2025: -11.1%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Cumulative COVID-19 cases: 15,297,539
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 180,447.85
  • Popular peak season: Feb. 1, 2022-Feb. 8, 2022 (1,219.40 cases per 1M people)
Skyscrapers in Melbourne City, Australia.

#4. Australia

  • Change in business travel from 2019 to 2020: -60.9%
  • Estimated change in business travel 2020 to 2021: +11.1%
  • Change in business travel 2019 to 2025: -1.6%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Cumulative COVID-19 cases: 8,653,081
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 333,823.98
  • Popular Peak Time: Jan. 6, 2022-Jan. 13, 2022 (4,213.35 cases per 1M people)
Aerial view of Alicante, Spain.

#3. Spanish

  • Estimated change in business travel spending 2019 to 2020: -57.0%
  • Change in business travel 2020 to 2021: +12.7%
  • Change in business travel from 2019 to 2025: +8.5%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Cumulative COVID-19 cases: 13,032,841
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 274,451.09
  • Popular Peak Time: Jan. 6, 2022-Jan. 13, 2022 (3,032.60 cases per 1M people)
Two women discussing business over coffee.

#2. United States

  • Estimated change in business travelers 2019 to 2020: -61.2%
  • Estimated change in business travel 2020 to 2021: +30.8%
  • Change in the number of business travelers from 2019 to 2025: + 11.2%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Cumulative COVID-19 cases: 89,149,655
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 264,540.90
  • Popular Peak Time: Jan. 8, 2022-Jan. 15, 2022 (2,397.05 cases per 1M people)

Make your next business trip happen using TravelPerk’s corporate travel guide.

Laptop and business folder on the bed in a hotel room.

#1. China

  • Change in business travel from 2019 to 2020: -41.4%
  • Change in business travel 2020 to 2021: +31.7%
  • Change in business travel from 2019 to 2025: +9.9%

Types of COVID-19:

  • Cumulative COVID-19 cases: 893,814
  • Estimated cases per 1M people: 626.85
  • Popularity peak period: April 8, 2022-April 15, 2022 (18.63 cases per 1M people)
Allowance for business travel expenses
land 2019 to 2020 2020 to 2021 2019 to 2025
Australia -60.9% +11.1% -1.6%
Brazil -55.4% -2.7% -0.4%
Canada -54.3% -10.7% +7.9%
China -41.4% +31.7% +9.9%
France -56.6% +1.4% +6.3%
Germany -61.5% -7.8% +5.0%
India -58.4% -14.4% +4.9%
Italy -62.1% -4.3% +9.7%
Japan -57.0% -36.7% +17.5%
South Korea -60.5% -14.3% +1.1%
Spanish -57.0% +12.7% +8.5%
Turkey -33.7% +6.8% -11.1%
United Kingdom -60.0% -17.2% +12.4%
United States -61.2% +30.8% +11.2%

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