January 8, 2016

Business Travel Statistics: 23 Speedy Facts to Know

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Another business trip? Read this fascinating compilation of business travel statistics including the new demographic trends transforming the industry.

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  1. How many people travel for business each year in the U.S.?
    A staggering number of people hit the roads and fly the friendly skies for business purposes each year. The Global Business Travel Association pegs the number of business trips taken annually in the U.S. at 488 million.

    For older, more experienced travelers, that means an average of 12 trips per year (with 4 nights away from home each trip).

    For younger business travelers, that means an average of 14 trips per year (with 6 nights away from home each trip).

  2. How many business trips are taken each day?
    On average, an estimated 1.3 million business trips occur each day in the U.S. Through 2016, travelers are expected to add another 38,000 trips to the total on a daily basis.

  3. Are men or women more likely to travel for business?
    The number of women who are traveling for business has taken a sharp upturn over the last decade or so. Women account for approximately 47% of all business travelers.

  4. How old is the average business traveler?
    Older workers are more likely than their younger counterparts to travel for business. On average, the typical business traveler is 45.9 years old, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

  5. How has business travel volume changed over the last decade?
    In the aftermath of the 2008 housing collapse, business travel took a serious nosedive, but it's recovered fairly well. Since 2009, the number of business trips each year has increased by 38%.

  6. What are the top destinations for business travel?
    Some cities tend to attract more business travelers than others. According to an American Express survey, the top domestic city for business travel is Chicago, while London takes the crown for global business trips.


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  1. How much is spent on business travel in the U.S. each year?
    Business travelers are handing over a healthy amount of dough for hotels, restaurants, and transportation. For 2015, total business travel spending was projected to hit $302.7 billion in the U.S. That number is expected to climb to $318.9 billion by the end of 2016.

  2. What does the average business traveler spend on hotels?
    A hotel stay can easily cost hundreds of dollars, especially if you're taking a lengthy business trip. According to Business Travel News' 2015 Corporate Travel Index, the average per diem rate for a hotel stay is $163.13.

  3. What's the typical daily expenditure for meals?
    The price of eating out while away from home sure adds up (thank goodness for expense reports!). Business Travel News puts the average daily spending for meals at $96.89.

  4. What's the average cost for a rental car?
    The cost of wheels to get you from the airport to where you need to go take a toll on the travel budget. According to the Corporate Travel Index, the average daily rate for business travelers is $46.89.

  5. What U.S. city is the most expensive for business travelers?
    Business travelers face the steepest bill when taking a trip to San Francisco. For just one day, they spend the average combined cost of $509.50 to eat, rent a car, and book a hotel room.

  6. How much does the typical domestic business flight cost?
    Flying business class comes with some nice perks, but there's also a hefty price tag to contend with. In 2014, the average business traveler paid $990 for a flight in the United States.

  7. What's the average cost for international flights?
    If you're flying outside the U.S. for business travel, be prepared to pay even more. The average cost of an international flight was $2,525 in 2014.


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  1. What percentage of business travelers fly?
    Although it's quick and convenient, air travel is less common than you might think for business trips. Overall, only 33% of domestic business travelers are catching planes to get where they need to go.

  2. Which age group is most excited about taking business trips?
    Young adults give business travel the thumbs-up more often than older workers. In a survey from the Global Business Travel Association, 45% of millennials said they wanted to travel more for business compared to 26% of baby boomers.

  3. What percentage of seniors travel for business?
    While the majority of pleasure travel involves the 55+ crowd, that's not the case with business travel. Twenty percent of business travelers are in the 55-64 age group, while just 7% are over the age of 65.

  4. What's the median household income for business travelers?
    Workers who travel for business tend to bring in a bigger salary than those who don't. The median household income for business travelers was $87,500 in 2012 compared to $52,800 for the rest of the U.S. population.


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  1. What percentage of business trips involve short distances?
    On the whole, the typical business trip in the U.S. isn't a cross-country venture. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 74% of business travelers visit a destination that's less than 250 miles from home.

  2. What percentage of business trips are long distance?
    Flying around the globe on business is a rare thing for most travelers. The Department of Transportation estimates that just 7% of business trips involve a distance of 1,000 miles or more.

  3. What is the median one-way distance for a business trip in the U.S.?
    Of all the different types of travel, business trips usually feature the most amount of mileage. The median one-way distance is 123 miles, compared to 114 miles for pleasure trips and 103 miles for personal trips.

  4. What percentage of business travelers use their personal vehicle?
    Overwhelmingly, business travelers get behind their own wheel when venturing out on a work-related trip. According to the U.S. Travel Association, 48% of business trips involve a personal vehicle.

  5. When will business travelers opt for wings over wheels or tracks?
    A trip over 500 miles away has most travelers looking at flight schedules. Sixty-four percent of trips ranging from 500 to 749 miles are taken by plane while the number climbs to 85% for trips over 750 to 1,500 miles in length. Travelers who are going more than 1,500 miles go by plane 90% of the time.

  6. What's the median one-way distance based on travel method?
    Once you factor in the different methods of travel, the median one-way distance shapes up a little differently. For trips taken by car, the median length is 102 miles. For flights, the median business trip is 816 miles.


As long as your employer is covering the tab, traveling for business can be the cheapest way for you to see the country or even the world. But what if you're that employer? Business owners can minimize some of the cost by using a business rewards credit card. It also helps to familiarize yourself with average costs to make sure your employees are getting the best deals every time they travel.


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