More than two-thirds of surveyed U.S. business travelers expected to travel for work during the last three months of 2023, as corporate travel expectations mostly have resumed pre-pandemic levels, according to a new survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
AHLA from Sept. 18-23 surveyed 4,006 U.S. adults, 718 of whom indicated their jobs involve business travel.
Among those who identified as business travelers, 68 percent said they were likely to travel overnight for business in the last three months of the year, according to AHLA, representing a steady climb in corporate travel expectations over the last three years of the survey.
According to an AHLA survey last year, 59 percent of adults whose jobs involve travel said they were likely to travel for business during the last three months of 2022. In AHLA’s 2021 survey, 55 percent said they were likely to travel for business during the last three months of the year.
Comparatively, about 37 percent of 2023 survey respondents said they were likely to travel overnight for leisure in the last months of the year.
Additionally, hotels are the “top lodging choice for 81 percent of business travelers surveyed,” the hotel association said.
Corporate Travel Expectations
Corporate travel expectations largely have returned to pre-pandemic norms, according to the survey. When asked about the amount of business trips expected by an employer now compared with pre-pandemic times, 53 percent of respondents said it was “about the same.” About 17 percent said they were expected to travel more now, and 20 percent said it was less.
According to the survey, 58 percent of respondents said the average length of business trips is about the same now as it was pre-pandemic, with 14 percent indicating it was longer now, and 19 percent indicating it was shorter now.
Expenses also seem to be about the same for business travelers, according to the survey. When asked about spend an employer would cover now, compared to pre-pandemic, 55 percent said it’s about the same. Seventeen percent said more would be covered now, and 18 percent said less.