Although it’s easier than ever to connect to people across the world remotely, many individuals still have to travel for business. The number of business travelers across the United States is so significant, we think it’s worth an inside look. Here are some business travel statistics and facts to inform your world view.
1. $1.3 trillion was spent on global business travel in 2017
Business travel, as you can see, brings in a staggering amount of revenue. This industry has been on an upward trend for the past several years and is expected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2022.
2. The U.S. and China are the world’s biggest business travel spenders
In 2016, China spent $318 billion on business travel, and the U.S. was not far behind at $284 billion. These two apparently are the behemoths of business trips.
3. Americans make more than 405 million long-distance business trips per year
This means about 1.1 million people are traveling for business every day in the U.S.
4. 28.4% of all travel and tourism revenue comes from business travel
Of all the money generated by travel and tourism, more than a quarter of it is directly drawn in from business travel.
5. Almost 75% of business travel is to destinations less than 250 miles away
This statistic shows the vast majority of business travelers are heading to destinations that are less than 250 miles from their departure point. Additionally, most of these business trips are taken by automobile rather than a plane.
6. New York City is the most common business travel destination
Followed closely by London, the Big Apple is the most frequently traveled city when it comes to business.
7. Statistics show that face-to-face meetings are 34 times more powerful than remote, text-based conversations
So, why is business travel so common, considering the amount of global connection we have via the internet? The answer is simple: face-to-face interactions still hold far more weight than an online chat. Many corporate travelers are jet setting just to have face-time with clients and prospects.
8. Millennials take more business trips than other generations
While the average business travel takes around 6.8 trips a year, Millennials average 7.4 trips per year. And, as the next statistic shows, they appear to enjoy this arrangement.
9. 75% of millennial business travelers consider travel to be a benefit to their jobs
Apparently, the younger members of the workforce aren’t complaining about having to travel for work. Most of them consider business travel to be a perk of the job, and 65% of them see it as a status symbol.
10. More than 40% of business trips also had a leisure portion
Many business travelers tack on an extra day just to take some “me” time. This has become so common that now about 40% of all business trips also consisted of extra time spent solely for leisure.
11. This combination of business and leisure trips increased by 20% in 2017
There’s even a new term for this kind of extended business trip: Bleisure. These “Bleisure” trips have increased rapidly, as this stat shows.
12. 79% of corporate travelers used their mobile phones to complete bookings in 2017
Whoever thought that one day we’d be booking flights from the palms of our hands? But, from 2016-2017, the number of people who booked travel plans solely from their mobile devices rose a whopping 70%.
13. Most business travelers make their own travel arrangements
While some individuals have their reservations booked by an assistant or their company’s travel department, around 69% of business travelers book hotels, flights, and make other arrangements entirely on their own.
14. 57% of travelers prefer to use one app to plan, book, and track their business travels
With the rise of mobile technology, it’s easier than ever to plan travels. The majority of travelers prefer to streamline the planning and booking by using a single app for every step of the journey.
15. Business travel is getting increasing social media buzz
Many business travelers now share details about their trips on social media platforms. Since social media doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, we can expect this trend to keep traction as well.
16. Companies spend on average of $949 per employee per trip on domestic travel
In a single trip, companies spend just shy of a thousand dollars for one employee to travel in the U.S. However, when it comes to international travel, the number jumps to $2,600 per employee per trip.
17. The majority of companies’ travel budgets is spent on meals
With 21% spent on meals, the largest component of corporate travel budgets is spent on food. About 17% of this budget is spent on flights, 13% on hotels, and the remaining 49% is spent on everything from tolls to gas and miscellaneous expenses.
18. The average business per diem is $325 per day
While this number varies widely depending on the company and the destination of travel, the average daily expense budget for a business traveler is around $325 a day.
19. 700,000 companies now use Airbnb for work
Hotels can be expensive and impersonal. Many businesses are instead opting to go the route of Airbnb for Work, so their employees can be more comfortable and at home during their business travels.
20. Business travelers account for 12% of airline business but are the most profitable customers
Surprisingly enough, business travelers may be fewer than leisure travelers but, on some flights, they account for 75% of airline profits.
21. The vast majority of business trips are taken in personal vehicles
At 81%, automobiles are the most common choice for business trip transportation – which, if we remember that most trips taken are less than 250 miles, it seems logical to drive and avoid airport hassle.
22. 16% of business trips are taken in airplanes
Although planes are used less frequently than personal vehicles, this number does change as the mileage between destination lengthens. In trips that are over 750 miles, planes become the primary choice for transportation.
23. Airfare is expected to rise by approximately 2.9% in 2019
As oil prices increase, so does airfare. 2019 is expected to see both of these rise, so this business travel statistic should help businesses reevaluate their travel spend or moving budgets around to accommodate for higher flight prices.
Despite the ease of online connection, face time with clients is still valued by businesses and employees alike. As these statistics show, as more employees are willing and even enthusiastic about the occasional business trip, business travel will most likely continue to be a mainstay in the coming years. Rising prices in airfare or other expenses will only drive more creative travel options.