Business travel set to bounce back to pre-pandemic levels this year

business travel

More than half of Australia’s SMEs plan to increase their business travel this year, to match or exceed pre-pandemic levels, according to new research.

Corporate Traveller found 46 per cent of SMEs plan to increase their travel to the same level as 2019, and 8 per cent will travel more than they before the pandemic. Nearly half (46 per cent) of SMEs said will be travelling less than they did before the pandemic.

A larger proportion of medium-sized businesses (41 per cent) plan to travel more frequently this year, compared with 29 per cent of micro and small businesses who plan to do the same.

Corporate Traveller also asked respondents about their international travel plans this year. Over half (54 per cent) revealed they will travel internationally. Among these, half (52 per cent) will travel to South-East Asia, 34 per cent to the UK, 32 per cent to North America and 28 per cent to Europe.

“With borders open and quarantining requirements dropped, it’s a given that businesses are bringing back their travel this year,” said Tom Walley, global managing director at Corporate Traveller.

“We’re pleased to discover that businesses continue to place importance on travel which, for many companies, is often essential for their growth, expansion, staff retention, recruitment, and sales.

“The keenness for SMEs to return to the skies will help the recovery of the travel industry, MICE industry, and the Australian economy as a whole.”

Respondents were also asked to select the percentage of their travel that will be to Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane.

Sydney proved to be a popular destination for travel, with 56 per cent of respondents planning to dedicate more than 30 per cent of their travel to the major city. In contrast, 51 per cent will dedicate more than 30 per cent of their travel to Melbourne and 44 per cent to Brisbane.