A survey by Morgan Stanley of 135 corporate travel managers showed that they expect 2024 travel budgets to be, on average, 8% above 2023. The research, conducted by analyst Jamie Rollo, included respondents responsible for about $8 billion in travel spend with a global spread of operations.

According to the research, it is encouraging that budgets appear to be holding up well given the growing macroeconomic uncertainty, and 8% is well above consensus expectations for about 2% RevPAR (revenue per available room) growth in 2024.

About 40% of respondents said that their companies have returned to pre-COVID travel levels, a strong increase compared with the analyst’s May 2023 / October 2022 surveys.

Room rates are expected to increase by 5% year over year on average in 2024, with 5-6% room rate growth next year for all major global chains like Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., InterContinental Hotels Group and Accor.

Business Travel News Promo

Respondents expect to see 12% of the meetings that would have been physical pre-pandemic shifted to virtual, lower than the 18-20% shift in previous surveys. This suggests a degree of permanence in the shift to virtual, but the ongoing decline in expectations could provide a tailwind to spending, according to the research.

Image: Shutterstock/Thx4Stock