Introduction

Since a new type of travel industry emerged in 2023, travel trends and travel behavior have changed for corporate travelers.

Booking.com for Business aims at making business travel easier for everyone. One way we do this is by helping you understand the trends and data that shape your travel experience. We studied how corporate travelers’ behavior has changed regarding stays by diving deep into length of stay, property type and facilities data. We looked at data from customers who indicated travelling for business purposes in the first half of 2019 and compared them with data for the same period in 2023.

This is what this data reveals:

  • Business travelers increased their length of stay by 3.1% from the first half of 2019 to the first half of 2023.
  • Hotels are still the number one choice for business travelers but apartments are getting increasingly popular.
  • Business travelers stayed longer in apartments than they did in hotels.
  • North America is the only continent where travelers stayed longer for business purposes than they did for leisure, with an 18% difference.

Unveiling extended business stay patterns

Business travelers stayed significantly longer in 2023.

One of the biggest trends that our data shows is that travelers in general booked longer stays in the first half of 2023 than in the first half of 2019. Business travelers stayed 4.76% longer on average in the first half of 2023 than in the first half of 2019, which can be explained by the fact that corporate travelers and companies want more for their money. For this reason, they might have preferred opting for longer stays to compensate for higher airfares, for example.

The Middle East (+12.5%), Europe (+10%) and North America (+8.3%) were particularly affected by the increase in number of nights that business travelers stayed in the first half of 2023 compared to the first half of 2019.

Business travel: revealing new stay trends

At a country level, France (+11,1%), Germany and Spain (+10.5%) as well as the US and Canada (+9%) saw business travelers increase the duration of their stays significantly. In Italy and Great Britain, business travelers stayed on average respectively 5.2% and 5.2% longer in the first half of 2023 than in the first half of 2019.

Business travel: revealing new stay trends

Diving deep into business travelers’ preferred property types

Business travelers have specific preferences regarding property types they like to stay at. Let’s see how these patterns have changed from 2019 to 2023.

Business travel: revealing new stay trends

Hotels are still on top

Our data shows that hotels were still the preferred type of property for global business travelers. In fact, 71.6% of business travelers in 2023 chose to stay at a hotel. But the proportion of business travelers booking hotels decreased by 2% between the first half of 2019 and the first half of 2023.

Apartments are getting more and more attention

Apartments were the second most booked type of property for global business travelers and it stands out that they stayed longer in apartments than they did in any other property type, with an average of 3.5 nights in the first half of 2023.

Business travelers around the world booked apartments on average 3.1% more in the first half of 2023 than in the first half of 2019.

A key business trend that we observed is that business travelers stayed 13% longer in apartments in the first half of 2023 than they did in the first half of 2019, showing that this type of property is being increasingly appreciated by the business world. In comparison, the average duration of their stay at hotels hasn’t changed. During the pandemic, companies relied on serviced apartments to avoid having their employees being surrounded by people and this trend is here to stay. This can be one of the many reasons why we’re seeing longer stays at apartments.

Motels and resorts well-liked in the US

In the US specifically, we noticed specific trends. The preference of business travelers for hotels increased by 2% over the 2019-2023 period. Just as in the rest of the world, hotels were the number one choice, however motels and resorts were very popular in the US.

Motels were the second most popular property type – unlike in the rest of the world – thanks to their convenient location, while resorts took third place due to their luxurious amenities, and on-site conference and event facilities. However, the preference for motels decreased by 3% and that for resorts showed a very slight decline too.

Business travelers’ changing needs for facilities

When traveling for business, travelers have specific facility needs. Let’s see what the facilities that business travelers expected from their accommodation were.

At property level

What pushes travelers to book one property over another? Our data showed that business travelers increasingly valued a property's facilities. Business travelers were at least 4% more likely in the first half of 2023 than they were in the first half of 2019 to book accommodation with the following facilities:

  • Laundry, dry cleaning and ironing service
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Daily maid service
  • Shops
  • Parking
  • Luggage storage and airport shuttle

Guests traveling for business were 8.8% more inclined to book a place with meeting or banquet facilities. They also gave a high priority to quiet and accessible rooms and easy access to food and drinks. What business travelers want is to get their job done and be efficient.

In the US specifically, we saw a bigger increase in business traveler bookings at properties with a fitness room between 2019 and 2023. Staying active is seen as an essential part of a business traveler’s well-being, especially in the US.

Business travel: revealing new stay trends

At room level

At room level, the biggest increase (+4%) in bookings by business travelers revolved around rooms with connectivity options (telephone, cable channels), comfort (slippers, carpeted floor, bath) and wake-up services.

When it comes to booking a room, corporate travelers have high expectations. They like a nice private bathroom equipped with towels, a hair dryer, free toiletries, etc – and services such as a flat-screen TV and a phone.

Business travel: revealing new stay trends

Conclusion

The travel industry underwent some changes in recent years. Business travel in particular saw great increases in the number of nights per stay, and apartments are the property type that saw the greatest increase in length of stay. We can also point out the specificity of the US, as travelers stayed there longer for business purposes than they did for leisure.

Methodology

Data for this article is based on global gross bookings by continent or country made for business purposes on the Booking.com platform between the first six months of 2019 and the first six months of 2023.

Booking.com for Business reviewed:

  • The average length of stay for business travelers in the first six months of 2019 and the first six months of 2023 by region.
  • The average length of stay and the distribution of gross bookings for business travelers in the first six months of 2019 and the first six months of 2023 by accommodation type.
  • The percentage of business bookings in the first six months of 2019 and the first six months of 2023 by hotel facility type.
  • The percentage of business bookings in the first six months of 2019 and the first six months of 2023 by room facility type.

Sources

  1. Navigating toward a new normal: 2023 Deloitte corporate travel study
  2. Morning Consult: Business, but Not as Usual
  3. Morgan Stanley: 2023 Outlook: Business Travel Bounces Back
  4. BTN Europe: Serviced Apartments: The Long Game
  5. Skift: Marriott Execs Say Blended Travel Here to Stay With New Product Opportunities
  6. Business Travel News Europe: Serviced Apartments: The long game

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