Mr. Harteveldt is more optimistic about the prospects for business travel. “If the economies of developed countries remain strong and the war in Ukraine does not spread, then the business travel industry will have a good autumn and winter,” he said, “and 2023 will be a good one. , possibly good, year for it. ”
The Return of the Back-to-Office Plans
After the Omicron variant shattered companies ’hopes for a return to personal employment last year, a new chapter on RTO now appears to be opening.
The renewed expectation is very different from the situation two years ago, after most business trips were abruptly canceled or suspended. The U.S. Travel Association, a trade group, says that by 2020, local business travel spending will have dropped 68 percent from 2019. And while spending will grow in 2021, the group said, it’s about half yet on what it will be in 2019.
But last month, Suzanne Neufang, chief executive of the Global Business Travel Association, said, the association has seen “significant gains in return on business travel, especially in the last month or two.”
An active business traveler is Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association of Washington, who has traveled extensively since last July for conventions, trade shows and talks.
He has 11 trips planned between now and the end of September, which, he said, “feels like a lot, more now than I did before the pandemic, in part because I wanted to to meet colleagues and people I haven’t seen in two and a half years. “
He added, “We’re looking forward to it.”
In recent revenue calls, major U.S. airlines have all reported increases in their business travel bookings. American Airlines, for one, says business demand has already recovered to 80 percent to 2019 levels.
United said business travel reservations were “quickly returned,” but they have not yet fully recovered. It also said there had been no “significant recovery in business traffic” in Asia, where strict coronavirus bans still exist. in countries such as China and Japan.