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Flight Centre - Corporate Traveller - logoIn a remarkable turn of events, the construction industry has witnessed an astronomical 89% increase in travel activity throughout 2023 compared to the previous year. This surge, as reported by Flight Centre’s esteemed corporate divisions, FCM Travel and Corporate Traveller, marks a significant pivot towards primary transport, renewable energy, and water infrastructure projects across the nation.

Despite a downturn in residential building commencements noted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the September 2023 quarter, the landscape of Engineering Construction Activity tells a different story. The volume and value of infrastructure projects have seen an uptick, with completed works rising by 2.6% and the value of newly commenced projects by 1.7%, cumulating to an impressive $30.34 billion within the same timeframe.

At the heart of this unprecedented growth is the shift towards renewable energy projects, a sector that Melissa Elf, Flight Centre Corporate MD for ANZ/Global FCM COO, identifies as moving “at a faster rate than we’ve seen in a long time.” This shift redefines the industry’s trajectory and underscores travel’s vital role in sealing pivotal contracts. “Travel is a critical facet for construction companies, particularly those in the infrastructure space,” Elf remarked, highlighting the necessity of on-the-ground presence for securing business opportunities.

Domestic construction-related travel bookings per State Capital (outbound)

This burgeoning sector is poised for sustained growth, with Infrastructure Australia’s projections indicating a fourfold increase in energy infrastructure project investments over the next four years. A staggering 74% of all construction activity, valued at an anticipated $691 billion, is expected to be funnelled into infrastructure projects up to June 2027. This expansion is buoyed by increased government investment and a robust pipeline of publicly funded priority projects across various domains, including road and rail, water, renewable energy, education, and health.

The data also reveals an intriguing trend in corporate travel within the construction sector. Companies are now dispatching larger teams for each project, with the average number of staff per trip climbing from two or three in 2022 to approximately four in 2023. This uptick indicates the scale and complexity of current infrastructure projects, necessitating a broad array of on-site expertise, from consultants and engineers to subcontractors and designers.

Top six International construction-related travel booking destinations

Most of this travel activity emanates from Brisbane, accounting for 17% of all construction-related travel. This highlights Queensland as a hive of construction and infrastructure activity and suggests a competitive edge for Queensland-based companies in securing and servicing significant projects nationwide.

In conclusion, the construction industry is on the cusp of a renaissance, driven by a significant uptick in travel related to infrastructure projects. This trend reflects the sector’s resilience and adaptability in the face of challenges and its crucial role in shaping a sustainable and innovative future. With the spotlight on renewable energy and a plethora of significant projects on the horizon, the construction industry stands as a beacon of growth and opportunity, marking a pivotal moment in Australia’s economic and environmental trajectory.




Written by: Michelle Warner