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No signs of business travel slowdown as expenses skyrocket

Business travellers are putting greater emphasis on in-person exchanges, spending big to move people all over the world.

Business travel spend among corporate Australia is skyrocketing.

Corporate travel expenses spiked by $6.9 billion in the 2022/23 financial year, showing that despite a rise in employees working remotely, the desire to travel and meet face-to-face is as strong as ever.

According to new data from payments platform Airwallex, overall travel spend by corporate Australia hit $152.8 billion just in the first five months of 2023, leading to a nine per cent jump on an annualised basis.

Businesses are spending on average an additional $54,816 on travel – or 71% more – compared to one year earlier.

Businesses value the importance of in-person interaction.

The data showed travel agencies are the big winners, with corporate clients opting to put their trust in experts leading to a 278 per cent jump in expenditure to $2.3 billion.

Domestic flights and hotels are also fuller than one year earlier, with patronage up 89 per cent and 60 per cent as businesses spend $1.9 billion and $770 million respectively.

International flights and hotels are also up by 57 per cent to $930 million and 19 per cent to $263 million respectively as business travellers and executives get back to doing business on a global scale world.

Airlines, hotels and car rental aren’t the only big winners of the post-pandemic boom in corporate travel, with luggage retailer July reporting a 640 per cent explosion in revenue since 2021 as travellers invest in new hardware to carry their belongings around the world.

“What we see from how Aussie businesses are using our Expenses cards is they value in-person interactions and are willing to invest in travel,” said Airwallex Director of Sales Lachlan Millist.

“Even with well-established and cheaper virtual options, our data shows businesses believe face-to-face time is irreplaceable when it comes to relationship-building, networking and sourcing new commercial opportunities.”

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 5 July 2023

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