For the past two years, corporate travel has been talking about the R word: recovery. Unfortunately, another R word now is stalking the corporate travel sector and the global economy at large: recession.
The World Bank has said central banks around the world have been raising interest rates this year with a degree of synchronicity not seen in the past five decades and that “the world may be edging toward a global recession in 2023.”
Some indicators show consumer confidence in similar or sharper declines than in previous global recessions and some growth projections look weak, despite emerging from the pandemic.
Post-Covid economic recovery could be patchy. Saudi Arabia will lead the pack with growth of 9.9% in 2022 and 6% in 2023, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. India, Indonesia, China and Turkey also are projected to beat the global average in these years. At the bottom of the table will be economies like the U.S., Italy, the U.K., Germany and sanctions-hit Russia.
In the fall, amid these economic reports, many organizations in the corporate travel sector released their forecasts for the year ahead.
Business travel is back. In a June survey of 179 North American and European travel and procurement managers released in September by HRS and the Global Business Travel Association indicated 54% said business travel had rebounded faster than expected.
In a September GBTA poll of buyer opinion, buyers reported domestic business travel bookings were at around 63% of pre-pandemic levels with international bookings about 50%.
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