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Business travel boost: Bookings increase 21% in last six weeks as confidence builds

New data from Corporate Traveller Australia has revealed businesses are eager to return to the skies, with a 21 per cent increase in domestic and international flight bookings since early February.

New data from Corporate Traveller Australia has revealed businesses are eager to return to the skies, with a 21 per cent increase in domestic and international flight bookings since early February.

Corporate Traveller Australia analysed its travel booking data from 7 February – the date the Federal Government announced the opening of Australia’s international border – to 23 March, with the early data signalling a resurgence in travel and a promising bounceback for Australia’s travel industry.

In that period alone, international flight bookings increased by 416 per cent, and domestic bookings by 18 per cent.

Despite the jump in international business travel bookings, the strong growth has come off a small base, given that most international corporate travel was off-limits before borders opened with the number of seats purchased at a low level when compared to pre-COVID numbers.

Tom Walley, Global Managing Director at Corporate Traveller, says: “Travel bookings are an indicator of business confidence and optimism – particularly advance bookings.

“This is a significant uptick in bookings in just a six-week period, and we anticipate demand will climb steadily throughout the year as we continue to track bookings.

“Hundreds of our customers who paused their travel during the pandemic are kickstarting their programs again, while essential industries that continued travelling, such as medical, mining and engineering, are planning to invest more in their travel this year.”

Tom Walley
Corporate Traveller Global Managing Director Tom Walley

Corporate Traveller data also revealed that 59 per cent of its domestic and international flight bookings were made up to 10 days before travel, while 11 per cent were made at least four weeks in advance.

Tom says the proportion of bookings made weeks ahead of travel will increase throughout the year, as businesses grow more confident to plan trips without fear of cancellation, as they seek out opportunities to grow their business.

“With more international destinations easing restrictions and removing test requirements, businesses will seek to expand the list of locations they travel to this year.

“For instance, from 13 April I expect bookings into New Zealand to increase, when it allows fully vaccinated Australians to enter the country without needing to quarantine or self-isolate,” Tom Walley concluded.

For more information head to www.corporatetraveller.com.au