Recent Reports Claim Business Travel Will Never Return To Normal

The era of extravagant, high-flying business travel may be coming to an end.

Business travel will never resume normal operations, according to a recent analysis by the research firm Morning Consult.

According to the paper titled “Business, but Not as Usual,” tighter corporate budgets and new forms of virtual working have irrevocably altered business travel.

According to the study, business travellers are becoming younger, more likely to fly in economy class, and have an average annual income of less than $50,000.

According to the survey, “the old stereotypes of high-spending travellers splashing out on first-class tickets no longer hold water.”

According to the report, a new business travel model is steadily but surely taking root and solidifying a “new normal” for the sector.

Business travel is being reduced.

According to Morning Consult, while leisure travel continues to increase globally, corporate travel to the United States remained flat in 2017.

In 2022, business travel—both domestically and internationally—rose about 1%, according to its study of about 4,400 Americans.

According to the survey, fewer people are travelling for business now than they were before the pandemic, and those who are travelling less frequently.

A third of those surveyed claimed that their firms had altered their policy regarding business travel, most frequently by lowering the number of trips taken for work (by 60%) or by sending fewer staff (56%). More than half (54%) claimed that businesses also scrutinise travel spending more carefully.

According to Morning Consult, business retreats, trade exhibitions, and incentive travel are the trips most likely to be cut.

According to survey respondents, those modifications were made to cut expenses, enhance employee health and wellness, and because virtual meetings have replaced some in-person ones in specific situations.

Sustainability was mentioned by senior business leaders in the poll as well; the report observed that it is “a factor that is not tied to temporary events or conditions.”

It is vital to achieve sustainability objectives.

One in seven polled organisations in the U.S. and one in five in Europe anticipate that corporate travel would decline in 2023 as a result of sustainability initiatives, according to a Deloitte report on corporate travel released this month. 

The research is based on a survey of 334 executives and travel managers who have control over the travel budget. It claims that in order to fulfil the 2030 climate objectives, one in three American corporations and almost 40% of European companies stated the need to reduce employee travel expenses by more than 20%.

According to the research “Navigating towards a new normal,” climate concerns will probably continue to have an impact on corporate travel growth for years to come.

Another Morning Consult analysis from the previous year revealed that business travel is declining in some nations more than others.

Before the epidemic, business travellers who made at least three business trips each year were surveyed by Morning Consult to learn when they planned to make their next trip.

“At least half of French, British and German business travelers who frequently took work trips before the pandemic say they never will again,” said Lindsey Roeschke, travel and hospitality analyst at Morning Consult. “Other areas show more promise though, specifically India, China and Brazil.”

According to a February Morning Consult report, the majority of employees say they are satisfied with their existing travel plans, at least in the US.

According to the survey, 64% of American people said they travel for work “the right amount” whereas 29% said they wish they could travel more and 7% less. 

Despite the fact that the number of trips may not be increasing substantially, the data from Deloitte shows that corporate spending on business travel is.   According to the report, corporate travel expenditure in the U.S. and Europe nearly doubled last year and will likely surpass pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025.

Despite what would seem to be a robust recovery, the research warns that firms are still being forced to spend more due to inflation and rising travel expenses.

“Higher airfares and room rates are the largest contributor to growing costs, and they have also become the No. 1 factor deterring the number of trips taken,” it said.

According to the survey, flexible bookings and employees’ preferences for opulent business trips are also to blame for rising expenditures. According to Deloitte, businesses claim to be saving money by picking less expensive housing (59%), booking less expensive flights (56%), and travelling less frequently (45%).

According to the report, nearly 70% of companies indicated they are strategically considering the necessity for trips, balancing expenses and carbon emissions with staff retention and revenue development. 

According to the statistics, there are a few reasons to be optimistic for those who are celebrating the robust return of business travel. According to Deloitte, international business trip spending will increase in 2023 — primarily for client work in Europe and to meet up with international colleagues at conferences in the U.S.

According to Morning Consult, over two-thirds of business travellers stated they also plan to attend a conference or seminar this year.

According to its analysis, “bleisure” travel, which combines business and leisure travel, is also increasing due to the flexible work arrangements that started during the epidemic.

According to the survey, employees frequently pay more for blended trips, but many consider the “investment worth it” because it allows them to travel more frequently and for longer periods of time.

(Adapted from FlipBoard)

Categories: Economy & Finance, Geopolitics, Regulations & Legal, Strategy, Sustainability

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