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Business travel bookings return to pre-pandemic levels

By Emma Musgrave | |4 minute read

Employees are spending more time travelling for business than they have in recent years, new data has shown.

Corporate Traveller has analysed booking and spend figures between June–December 2022 and January–July 2023, showing travel for business is back up.

According to the figures, business travel bookings to Perth grew by 14 per cent over the period. Meanwhile, business travel bookings to Adelaide grew by 11 per cent.


Comparatively, domestic travellers arriving in Brisbane grew by only 6 per cent, followed by 7 per cent for Sydney and 8 per cent for Melbourne.

Commenting off the back of the results, Corporate Traveller’s Australia-based global managing director, Tom Walley, said:

“It’s an exciting time for these Australian cities, and if they continue to grow their presence in the business space, it will be great news for the nation as a whole. To have five cities across the country that serve as thriving business hubs will not only grow our GDP, but the impact on small businesses and communities across Australia will be exponential.”

Mr Walley noted that there are likely factors contributing to the rise in business travel bookings in some states versus others.

“Both [Perth and Adelaide] state governments have made an impressive commitment to hosting business events and conferences, drawing thousands of business travellers to the regions for networking, learning and development opportunities,” he explained.

“For example, Western Australia will host AgriFutures Australia’s AGConference in 2024, which will bring more than 1,000 delegates across the agricultural industry to Perth in February. Likewise, South Australia hosted the World Indigenous Peoples’ Conference on Education in September last year, which ran across five days and brought an estimated 2,300 delegates to the Adelaide Convention Centre.

“It’s not just business events that are drawing domestic travellers to these cities. The WA government struck a deal for Perth to exclusively host Coldplay during their visit to Australia, which will see 60,000 fans flock to Optus Stadium, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a fair few business trips to Perth in November.”

Mr Walley said investment in events like these have also incurred a faster growing business travel spend to both cities, “with Perth and Adelaide topping the table for growth in incoming travel spend between June–December 2022 and January–July 2023”.

“In this period, business travel spend grew by 8 per cent for Perth and 7 per cent for Adelaide,” he explained.

“Business travel bookings and spend to Adelaide and Perth are growing in tandem, as you would expect. Perth is well placed geographically to be a genuine business hub with its ability to connect directly with London and elsewhere, and Adelaide has been the sleeping giant for a while. This is becoming a particular favourite for SMEs that want to turn their travel into a bleisure trip by tacking on a visit to the world-famous Barossa, for example.”