Business travel continued to increase in the fourth quarter of 2022 while spending began to moderate, according to the Q4 2022 SpendSmart Travel Trends report from Emburse, an expense, travel management and payments provider.

In the fourth quarter of last year, business travel measures changed as follows:

• Volume of domestic flights booked: 84% up from the fourth quarter of 2021 and 74% up from the third quarter of 2022
• Amount spent on domestic flights: 80% up from the fourth quarter of 2021 and 79% up from the third quarter of 2022
• Volume of international flights booked: 998% up from the fourth quarter of 2021 and 73% up from the third quarter of 2022
• Amount spent on international flights: 2,147% up from the fourth quarter of 2021 and 87% up from the third quarter of 2022
• Volume of car rentals booked: 73% up from the fourth quarter of 2021 and 7% down from the third quarter of 2022
• Amount spent on car rentals: 110% up from the fourth quarter of 2021 and 4% down from the third quarter of 2022
• Volume of hotel reservations booked: 89% up from the fourth quarter of 2021 and 11% up from the third quarter of 2022
• Amount spent on hotel reservations: 119% up from the fourth quarter of 2021 and 3% down from the third quarter of 2022

Eric Friedrichsen, CEO, said that while the narrative around business travel has continued to evolve since the onset of the pandemic, “one thing seems to be true: business trips are playing an important role in the health of the travel industry.”

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The data indicate a resurgence in in-person meetings, he said, despite less favorable weather and macroeconomic conditions, suggesting that employers continue to see the value in bringing people together. However, said Friedrichsen, Emburse did see slight quarter-on-quarter declines in average domestic air ticket prices, as well as average daily lodging spend. This could suggest, he said, that travelers are finding a balance between maintaining travel volumes and effective cost control by opting for lower-cost flights and hotels.

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