Business Tourism: Will it come back this 2022?

Since the pandemic started in 2019, one question has been asked in different tourism sectors around the world. When will traditional business travel return? 

Due to the restrictions of COVID-19 regarding social distancing, isolation, and the creation of social bubbles, the labor sector was strongly affected in its different variables, such as congress tourism, international business meetings, labor exchanges, among others.

Who were the most affected?

Business tourism is a multi-sector process carried out to develop business in different parts of the world. This process has various stakeholders involved in each step.

Business  travelers tend to have a different travel tendency than the tourist traveler. For example, they have a high purchasing power, and therefore their spending is higher than that of the traditional traveler. Spending is also appreciated in the use of quality infrastructures that this type of traveler needs, such as high-end hotels, conference rooms, internet connection, luxury transportation, and restaurants.

As you can see, business tourism affects several of a country’s economic sectors, and each of them was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hotels dropped their bookings due to the impossibility of traveling, congress halls had to close due to social isolation, and meetings in other countries became video call meetings.

This phenomenon has improved since the end of this year, allowing these sectors to provide the services they did before the pandemic. However, there is still the possibility that COVID cases could increase at any time, and global restrictions could be reimplemented around the world. 

What happened to business tourism?

During the full year of 2020, all corporate travel fell, and worldwide business travel spending fell by 61% following the implementation of travel restrictions. It is estimated that the loss of the travel and tourism sector was approximately 4.5 billion dollars, andaround 62 million people lost their jobs in this industry.

But, it affected not only world tourism but also national tourism. The social isolation did not allow any actor involved in the travel sector to perform their traditional tasks. Consequently, many businesses closed, reinvented themselves or migrated to other regions of their country.

Change is coming

According to a study by the World Travel and Tourism Council, it is expected that by the end of 2021 to 2022, business tourism worldwide will increase by 34% over the previous year. Likewise, it is estimated that the average global business tourism expenditure will reach 66% over 2019, before the pandemic.

Although global tourism has been recovering steadily, the business tourism sector has not yet completely bounced back. However, as this type of business is extremely important for the recovery of some countries, such as Spain, Brazil, and the USA, new guidelines and benefits have been planned to boost it.

Among these guidelines, companies have had to adjust their revenue models, improve their digital services, restructure their meeting models, among other things. However, recovery will also depend on the collaboration of the public and private sectors and the increased confidence of travelers to use these services.

The regions that stand to benefit the most from these new guidelines

According to global studies, the Middle East region is recovering the fastest. As a result, spending will increase by 49% this year, and it is estimated that by 2022 it will increase by 32% over the previous year. Meanwhile, in Asia-Pacific, spending will grow by 32% this year versus 2020 and by 41% by 2022.

On the other hand, Europe is expected to grow 36% by 2021 and 28% by 2022. Likewise, Africa will increase by 36% this year and 23% by 2022.

Finally, the Americas region is expected to have the slowest recovery worldwide, with only a 14% increase by 2021 and a 35% increase by 2022.

While we cannot be sure that tourism will develop in growth by 2022 due to the uncertainty generated by the pandemic, what we can do as travelers is to be prepared. We can plan future trips that we need to make for work or leisure, and with this planning, we will also know what travel documents we need to have.

If you need help with this type of information, we recommend you to use the services of This company has years in the market dedicated to the processing of travel documents and advice.