Justin N. Froyd - Feb 25, 2024
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According to the German Travel Management Association, about 33% of travel managers surveyed reported that their company's number of business trips has either returned to pre-pandemic levels or exceeded them (22%), or is only slightly below it (11%). For around 27% of those surveyed, the current business travel volume is around 80 to 89% of the 2019 levels, while for almost 32%, it ranges between 50 and 79% compared to the pre-pandemic period.

Only 6% of the respondents stated that their business travel volume was less than 50% compared to the pre-pandemic period.

The primary reasons for the decrease in business travel in Germany are video/telephone conferences as an alternative to physical meetings (89%), scheduling of multiple appointments in one trip (57%), budget constraints for business travel (51%), and cost increases for business trips (44%). Around 36% of respondents identified environmental sustainability as a factor, while fewer business trips (23%) and the company's realignment after the pandemic (15%) were other reasons. Only 8% of the respondents cited travel safety as a reason for decreased business travel.

Increased Business Travel Costs

Around 44 percent of travel managers have reported that their company's travel expenses have increased, while 5 percent have noted that these costs have remained the same compared to 2019. Among those who have reported increased travel expenses, the primary reason is the rise in prices by the travel service providers (100 percent). Other factors that have contributed to the increased costs include the purchase of more environmentally friendly yet more expensive travel options (23 percent), higher security expenses (18 percent), and changes in travel activities (18 percent).

Strike as the Number One Negative Factor

According to the data, 85% of the respondents stated that the current strike is the primary reason for hurting their company's business travel activities. Other reasons cited were infrastructure issues, such as the expansion of railway lines (44%), and the availability of flights or hotels (36%). Security aspects, such as the geopolitical situation, were mentioned by 28% of the respondents, while bureaucratic hurdles were stated by 17%. Only 9% of the respondents cited a lack of environmentally friendly travel options for having a negative impact on their business travel activities.

German Business Travel Outlook

According to the study, 24 percent of the surveyed respondents anticipate their company's travel volume will increase in the next 18 months compared to 2019. Meanwhile, 37 percent expect the business travel volume to remain the same, while 34 percent estimate it will decrease.

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