• New Report: CEOs Say Reducing Business Travel Will Lead to Long-Term Financial Losses

     
    POSTED July 15, 2022
     

Over half of large-company CEOs agree that slashing business travel may represent short-term savings but will hurt revenue over the long term.

That’s one of the key findings from a new survey that is part of the Quarterly Business Travel Tracker, a collaboration between U.S Travel Association, J.D. Power and Tourism Economics.

Despite agreement that reducing business travel will be harmful to long-term sales, more than two-thirds of executives expect their company will spend less on business travel over the next six months compared to the same period in 2019. Further, half of companies still have policies in place restricting business travel.

Here's a closer look at the survey’s findings:

  • Business travelers expect to resume traveling at a slightly reduced frequency as compared to pre-pandemic, averaging about 2.1 trips per month (compared to 2.3 pre-pandemic, a decrease of 7.2%). The average number of expected trips for each purpose is slightly below pre-pandemic levels. 
  • More than two-thirds of corporate executives expect the company they work for will spend less on business travel over the next six months compared to the same period in 2019. This is true across all trip purposes. 
  • Half of executives have policies in place restricting business travel as a result of pandemic. Most frequently mentioned policy restrictions include fewer business trips overall (71%) and fewer employees sent per business trip (58%). More than half (52%) anticipate existing pandemic related business travel polices will be reevaluated sometime in 2022. 
  • Both business travelers and executives report negative impacts related to reduced business travel. Executives appear particularly focused on the expectation that reduced business travel may represent short-term savings but bring long- term reductions in sales (46%). Many business travelers and executives see reduced business travel as negatively impacting their company's financial performance, at 32% and 36%, respectively
  • Approximately one-in-five business travelers report they are unsure they will make a trip for purposes such as a customer meeting or trade show over the next six months. The most frequently cited reasons were video conference substitutes for business travel, restrictions on international travel, company cost constraints, and companies restricting employee business travel
  • Executives consider business travel essential (73%), but report that virtual meetings (75%), cost controls (69%) and remote work by customers (69%) are likely to continue to constrain business travel. Most executive respondents (58%) agree that having more remote employees in the organization they work for will increase business travel spending for internal meetings over the long-term. 
  • Developing customer relationships is critical. A majority of business travelers report developing relationships through meetings with external customers and at trade shows are a critical aspect of business trips. A quarter of business travelers report building awareness of their organization's offerings through business trips is critical to their job performance. 
  • Business travelers at smaller-sized companies are more likely to be 100% remote (34%) than at a larger-sized company (29%). Business travelers working primarily in an office (36%) are more uncertain about the frequency of business travel over the next six months. 

U.S. Travel is launching a social media campaign to encourage companies to prioritize a return to normal business travel operations. 

In the wake of the worst of COVID, it’s all hands on deck time for hotels and meeting venues to rebuild business and create effective ways of reaching customers.

 

In between meetings and need something to pass the time? Is the weather looking a tad questionable? Well, there’s some exciting news in the world of indoor entertainment—namely, board games. 

 

In a sign that the travel industry is moving toward embracing inclusivity, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is offering a new gender option on applications for its TSA PreCheck program. Applicants will now be able to select “another gender” in addition to “male” and “female” options. 

“TSA remains committed to ensuring all travelers are treated with respect and dignity,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “This new TSA PreCheck enrollment feature reaffirms our commitment to equality and inclusion for all people, including the LGBTQI+ community.”