Business travellers have strong desire to hit the road again

A recent survey reveals conferences, conventions, and trade shows are critical to developing relationships.

Key findings from a new survey reveal that 84% of business travellers expect to take at least one trip to attend conferences, conventions, or trade shows in the next six months. While the survey, powered by U.S Travel Association and J.D Power, was conducted among the U.S stakeholders, the bounce-back pattern is likely to remain the same for countries where the corporate population is high. 

The quarterly business travel tracker’s latest data shows a clear shift in business travelers’ desire to return to in-person meetings.
The Quarterly Business Travel Tracker’s latest data shows a clear shift in business travellers’ desire to return to in-person meetings.

“The return of in-person meetings and events—and business travel in general—is a welcome sight after more than two years of pandemic-related uncertainty. There is simply no substitute for a face-to-face meeting, which is proven to lead to more fruitful business opportunities and can help power an economic and jobs recovery in communities across America,” says U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow. 

While business travel spending was still down 60% from pre-pandemic levels in 2021, the Quarterly Business Travel Tracker’s latest data shows a clear shift in business travellers’ desire to return to in-person meetings.

“While the data indicates a strong desire from business travellers to hit the road again, there is a big difference between willingness to travel and actually taking a trip. Corporate leaders should seize the competitive advantage, budget for business travel, and encourage their teams to get back on the road and re-establish those personal connections that only come with face-to-face interactions,” says Dow.

The Quarterly Business Travel Tracker also revealed that, while less than one in 10 U.S. business travellers are uncertain if they would travel in the next six months, the top reason for uncertainty was that meetings and events are not occurring. Corporate policies restricting business travel was the second-highest reason for uncertainty.

“In-person conferences have relational and financial impacts to corporations that are significant. Nearly half of survey respondents indicated that conferences, conventions, and trade shows are critical to developing relationships with customers, suppliers or others. Nearly one in four respondents indicated these events are critical to closing sales,” says Andrea Stokes, Practice Lead for Hospitality at J.D. Power.

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