How Many People Travel Business Each Year?

By Alice Nichols

Traveling for business has become a popular way for companies to connect with potential customers, partners and suppliers around the world. Business travelers are estimated to make up 5-7% of all international travelers each year. In 2018, the total number of business trips worldwide was estimated at 447 million with an estimated spend of $1.3 trillion USD.

Reasons For Business Travel

Business travel is necessary in order to maintain relationships with customers and partners, as well as attend conferences and other industry events. Companies also use business travel to explore new markets and evaluate potential investments or partnerships. Business travelers are often on the lookout for new opportunities and insights into industry trends that can help their companies grow.

Protocols & Policies

Most companies have established protocols and policies governing who is eligible for business travel, as well as what type of expenses are allowed to be charged to the company’s account. These policies usually cover topics such as airfare, ground transportation, lodging, meals and entertainment expenses. Companies may opt to provide employees with pre-paid credit cards or other forms of payment in order to simplify expense tracking and reimbursements.

Common Challenges

Business travelers face many common challenges while on the road including jet lag, fatigue from long-distance flights or drives, language barriers in foreign countries, cultural differences, security risks and more. Long hours spent in airports or on airplanes can also take a toll on mental health. Many businesses offer resources such as stress relief packages or online courses to help their employees manage these challenges while traveling for work.


Overall, business travel is an important part of many companies’ operations today. An estimated 447 million people traveled for business in 2018 with an estimated total spend of $1.3 trillion USD worldwide that year alone. With the right protocols and resources in place, companies can ensure that their employees have safe and productive trips while representing their brand abroad.