For the corporate world, business travel is an integral part for activities like client meetings, brand & product promotions, employee training, business expansion, etc. As result, there has been a spurt in business travel, both domestic and international trips, in recent times. Increasing digitalization of travel bookings and payments is expected to boost the growth of the global business travel market ecosystem.
The global business travel market is projected to exhibit steady growth over the next few years. The availability of various online and cashless payment options and the convenience of making travel bookings online have encouraged both individual travelers and enterprises to organize business travels. Increasing globalization of businesses has also increased the need for business travels. Further, the rise in travel & tourism and growth of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are also supporting the growth of the global market for business travels.
Apart from these, factors like the growing penetration of smartphones and the internet are going to affect the business travel market favorably. It has been observed that mobile phones are being widely used for booking business travel trips. In fact, many travel businesses have developed their own mobile applications for providing information about the entire trip. This type of development will further boost the growth of the global business travel industry ecosystem.
Millennials are and will be playing an important role in the business travel market, as they are tech-savvy and prefer remote working and flexible working hours. The growing popularity of bleisure, which includes both business travel and leisure travel, is also increasing the frequency of business travel. Employers are allowing bleisure for their employees to retain them for longer and enhance their productivity.
Further, the frequency of domestic travel has also increased in recent times, as SMEs use domestic business travels for business expansion. Due to the increasing demand for business travel, organizations as well as hotels and resorts are improving their infrastructure to meet the growing requirement of business travel.
However, the global business travel market ecosystem is currently facing uncertainties due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, both international and domestic travel restrictions have been imposed by many countries, which has affected the global tourism industry adversely.
In fact, the travel & tourism industry, including the business travel industry, is one of the worst-hit sectors by the Covid-19 pandemic. The travel restrictions, especially those on international travel, are not likely to be lifted soon, and this is going to have a major impact on the global business travel market ecosystem.
The Asia-Pacific has been one of the most important markets for business travel due to factors such as strong economic growth and increasing penetration of the internet and IoT. In the Asia-Pacific region, China is an important market for business travel, and the country generated the maximum revenue in the region in 2016.
The major players operating in the global business travel market ecosystem are, American Express Global Business Travel, Booking Holdings, Inc., BCD Group, Corporate Travel Management, CWT, Expedia Group, Direct Travel, Inc., Flight Centre Travel Group Limited, Travel Leaders Group, and Fareportal, among others.