German Business Travellers Going on Longer Trips Than in 2019

Business travellers from Germany are taking longer trips and purchasing more class tickets than they did before 2019, despite the COVID-19 pandemic impacting tourism and creating new patterns. 

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According to research from corporate payment specialist Air Plus International, high demand for air travelling from German travellers has been noticed in the first half of 2022, with invoicing volume in June only ten per cent lower than the pre-pandemic levels, reports. 

The prolongation in the duration of international trips from Germany increased significantly, which increased from an average of 11.6 days in 2019 to 14.5 days in 2022. At the same time, the proportion of one-day trips dropped from 17 per cent to seven per cent over the same period.

Air Plus also revealed that an increase in German organisations business class air travel reservations increased, jumping from nine per cent in 2019 to 13 per cent this year. This was particularly detected on domestic flights, where the business class bookings increased from five per cent in 2019 to 12 per cent in 2022.

As the study further reveals, some pre-COVID behaviour had started to return to pre-pandemic levels, such as the lead-in time for bookings. The average booking-to-departure period increased from 16.3 days in 2021 to 21.4 days in 2022, which is considerably shorter than an average of 24 days in 2019.

“The trend toward longer business trips is an indication that sustainability is becoming increasingly important for companies. Employees are handling different appointments within one trip instead of shorter individual trips. Another possible explanation for the longer trips is the ‘bleisure travel’ trend, meaning the combination of a business trip with a private trip,” said AirPlus CEO Oliver Wagner.

Booking of certain destinations outside the EU by German business travellers, has also changed compared to 2019, with China and Russia being ranked as the second and third most-sought intercontinental destinations after the United States in 2019, while in 2022, India and Mexico have replaced China and Russia in the top three most popular countries, right after the US. 

Top destinations of German tourists have changed even for Europe, as Spain has replaced the United Kingdom, becoming the favourite destination, followed now by the UK. 

Eturbonews has recently revealed that by 2024 outbound travel from Germany is anticipated to exceed the pre-pandemic levels, recording about 117.9 million German visitors in other countries. 

However, a total of 64.5 per cent drop in annual data from 116.1 million travellers in 2019 to a total of 41.2 million in 2020 before another decrease in 2021 to 40.4 million.