After the July Fourth Fireworks, Look for Business Travel to Ignite

After the July Fourth Fireworks, Look for Business Travel to Ignite

The barbecues will die down to a few flickering embers.

The fireworks’ booming will echo and fade.

And the summer getaways during the work-shortened week will give way to the return of the road warrior.

The stage has been set for that rebound.

The Tech Connect

PYMNTS Intelligence’s summer edition of the “Consumer Credit Economy Monitor” report found that coming into the summer months, 48% of U.S. consumers who intended to travel this summer had their plans in place as of April. Travel plans required at least some hefty outlay, with consumers anticipating that they would be spending about $2,400 on their getaways. As many as 78% of consumers said they planned to pay for at least a proportion of their trip with a credit card.

In terms of the connectivity of it all, the PYMNTS Intelligence report “How the World Does Digital: The Impact of Payments on Digital Transformation” found that there was a 16% increase in the use of airline apps and websites to book travel and pay for those trips. Drilling down a bit, the digital transformation of those activities increased by 2.7%. There was also some cross-pollination in play, as 79% of consumers who placed grocery and restaurant orders online (the eat pillar) also used travel- and commute-related sites and apps, representing 404 million consumers across the 11 countries in our study.

The familiarity we have as consumers winds up blending with our workday lives, as leisure time mixes a bit with business travel. The runway toward a corporate travel rebound has been in place, and it has been showing up in earnings and other data over the past several months. We’ll know more when earnings season begins in earnest later this month.

Link From the Last Earnings Season

Delta Air Line’s record revenue for the March quarter was buoyed in part by demand for business travel. Managed corporate sales grew 14% year over year during the quarter as large corporate accounts returned to business travel, a trend that was especially strong among those in the technology, consumer services and financial services sectors.

Management said the trend was poised to continue into the summer months. Ninety percent of companies surveyed by the airline said they expected their travel volumes to increase or stay the same in the June quarter and beyond. Delta’s business travel revenue has returned to 2019 levels, and its business travel volume is at 85% to 90% of its pre-pandemic numbers.

Meanwhile, American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) saw global multinational customers increase their business travel during the first quarter.

The growth in travel by these companies outpaced that of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) for the first time since the recovery from the pandemic. During the first quarter, Amex GBT saw its global multinational customers’ transaction growth increase 11% year over year while that of SMBs rose 5%.

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