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Corporate Spend on Travel is Rebounding, According to Emburse’s SpendSmart Travel Trends Report

Businesses spent more on domestic flights, international flights, car rentals, and hotel reservations in Q3 2022 than in the same quarter in 2021.

LOS ANGELES & PORTLAND, Maine–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Emburse, the global leader in spend optimization, announced today the results of its Q3 2022 SpendSmart Travel Trends report. This quarterly report tracks how much organizations spend on travel, as well as trends for booking volume and trip length, and compares it to the previous year, pre-pandemic 2019, and the previous quarter.

In Q3 2022, business travel measures changed as follows:

  • Volume of domestic flights booked: 88% up from Q3 2021; 36% down from Q3 2019
  • Amount spent on domestic flights: 95% up from Q3 2021; 41% down from Q3 2019
  • Volume of international flights booked: 6,331% up from Q3 2021; 60% down from Q3 2019
  • Amount spent on international flights: 13,617% up from Q3 2021; 58% down from Q3 2019
  • Volume of car rentals booked: 108% up from Q3 2021; 26% down from Q3 2019
  • Amount spent on car rentals: 144% up from Q3 2021; 5% down from Q3 2019
  • Volume of hotel reservations booked: 96% up from Q3 2021; 44% down from Q3 2019
  • Amount spent on hotel reservations: 143% up from Q3 2021; 20% down from Q3 2019

Early summer travel chaos and worries about an impending economic downturn led many to enact change in the late summer months. In August, tech giants Microsoft and Google asked employees to limit business travel, favoring virtual meetings. Then, in September, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched its Airline Customer Service Dashboard– an effort to create more airline transparency and encourage competition that benefits travelers.

Despite travel woes and recession fears, business travelers did not seem to be deterred. In Q3 2022, domestic and international flight, car rental, and hotel booking volumes each show an increase over both Q3 2021 and Q2 2022. Similarly, corporate spend on the aspects of travel represented has shown annual growth across the board. Business travel appears to be on the rise as the employee relationship with travel continues to find its balance after three years of disruption.

“Companies continue to discover that even in an increasingly connected world, you can’t replace the value of in-person connections. Now that more employees are remote, many companies are asking them to travel to spend time with their peers to build culture and collaboration, and this is reflected in the continued robust growth in business travel over the past quarter,” said Eric Friedrichsen, CEO of Emburse. “While volume went up in all areas compared to the previous quarter, we saw minor price drops for hotels and car reservations. Airline tickets saw the biggest quarter-over-quarter fall, possibly due to the decline in oil prices. It will be interesting to see if recessionary concerns will impact booking volumes for Q4 and also Q1 of 2023.”

Emburse plans to continue monitoring these figures and updating them quarterly. The next SpendSmart Travel Trends report will examine Q4 2022 and will be available in early 2023.

About Emburse

Emburse is the global leader in spend optimization. Our expense, travel management, purchasing and accounts payable, and payments solutions are trusted by more than 12 million business professionals, including CFOs, finance teams, and travelers. More than 18,000 organizations in 120 countries, including FORTUNE 100 corporations, high-growth startups, public sector agencies, and nonprofits, count on our intelligent automation, sophisticated analytics, and unmatched spend control to streamline processes, increase spend visibility, enhance compliance, and deliver positive financial outcomes.

Our mission is to humanize work by eliminating manual, time-consuming tasks, so our customers and their teams can focus on what matters most in their personal and professional lives.

For more information on Emburse, visit emburse.com, or follow our social channels at @Emburse.


The data in the Emburse Business Travel Index represents over 140,000 individual transactions made by travel management companies using Emburse’s expense management platform for business travel expenses. It reflects the months of July, August, and September collectively (Q3) for the years 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.


Maura Lafferty

Firebrand Communications for Emburse




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