We knew the lockdowns, shutdowns, and overall panic decision-making by Governors and state leaders who were in way over their head did serious damage to business travel during the height of the pandemic in 2020. But it’s even worse than you may have thought.
Anyone who flew from April until the end of 2020 knew the flights just looked and felt different. There were simply no business travelers. None. You didn’t see them in airport lounges, on rental car buses, waiting at gates inside the airport or sitting on the planes.
Here’s some of the highlights of the business travel meltdown of 2020. Bloomberg first reported on a study conducted by a data analytics firm called Kalibri Labs that shows revenues from corporate, group, government, and other commercial categories that drive the revenue for business travel, and they fell off a cliff last year.
Ten big cities took the biggest gut punch in regards to business travel, and are just trying to recover in 2021.
New York City is now expected to earn $530 million in business travel revenue this year, which is down 88% from 2019 when it brought in $4.5 billion.
Washington DC and Orlando were both just a shade under $2.7 billion in earnings from biz travel in 2019, and their numbers for 2021 show an 80% drop.
Las Vegas will be down 71.2% from their 20109 windfall.
According to the report by Kalibri Labs, the losses in business travel will be felt a long time, as they wrote. That the pandemic is “wiping out a decade’s worth of revenue and job growth.”
Experts say that big cities like NYC, D.C., Chicago and San Francisco are still only 20% to 30% recovered from two years ago.
Big corporations are finding it’s hard enough to get their employees to come to the office, let alone get on an airplane and visit a client.