Business travel spending expected to grow by 24% in 2023: Amex GBT

Business travel spending expected to grow by 24% in 2023: Amex GBT

TORONTO — American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) expects total business travel spending to grow by 24% in 2023, to reach over a trillion dollars.

Expectations for a strong year are supported by data from the company’s customer portfolio and also data from across the industry.

According to the Global Business Travel Association’s Q1 2023 Business Travel Outlook Poll published at the end of January, domestic and international bookings are currently at 67% and 54% of 2019 levels. This is up from 63% and 50% in their October survey.

Statistics show that 78% of travel managers expect more, or a lot more trips in 2023 versus 2022. And 86% of travel suppliers expect higher spending from corporate customers in 2023, an improvement from 80% in October.

Amex GBT says that SME clients “were leading recovery” and it was benefiting from an “all-time high” in win rates and customer satisfaction in this segment of the market.

The company told investors on a recent fourth quarter 2022 earnings call that distributed teams and hybrid work models are creating new demand for business travel, meetings, and events; and that global travel spend is expected to grow as capacity increases and existing restrictions in various regions are softened or lifted.

Increased meeting bookings also boosted hotel revenue, particularly for groups of under 50 people. Amex GBT’s meetings and events division has more than recovered, compared with 2019, and those smaller meetings now represent its fastest growing area of business, said CEO Paul Abbott.

Amex GBT signed $2.1 billion of SME new wins value in 2022, with a quarter of that value coming from businesses whose travel programs were previously unmanaged or handled in-house.

“Of course, our biggest growth opportunity is with SME customers,” said Abbott. “This represents a total opportunity of approximately $950 billion of travel spend. Within the SME segment, we are the number one player in managed travel, but only 30% of the $950 billion opportunity is actually managed today, providing a significant growth opportunity.”

Get travel news right to your inbox!