Two-thirds of UK companies plan to increase their spending on business travel by at least 50% over the next year, according to research by corporate card company American Express.
A survey of business leaders and travelers also found that 42% of small and medium-sized businesses plan to take more business trips over the next 12 months. Opinium on behalf of American Express surveyed 500 business travelers and 500 senior business travel decision makers from SMEs and large corporations from July 25-29 in the UK.
Over 80% of companies believe travel plays a key role in increasing revenue, 60% plan to expand in the UK and 35% want to enter new international markets.
Part of the increase in travel stems from the need to connect remote teams post-pandemic, with 73% saying it was now a major reason for business travel and a fifth already doing more to bring their teams.
Other trends include an increase in post-Covid bleisure travel, with 31% of employees taking their partner or family member on a business trip.
Most companies (79%) have also placed more emphasis on the well-being of travelers while on the road, which is just as good as it is becoming increasingly important for employees: 71% said they would quit their job if their employer did not prioritize their work. well-being while travelling.
Sustainability is becoming a bigger issue for travellers, with 71% worrying about the environmental impact of their trips and 78% becoming more aware of their carbon footprint while on the road. About a third of companies would like their business travel to be “greener”, but don’t know how to achieve it.
American Express, Vice President of UK Corporate Card Services, Hana Lear, said in a statement: “Companies had no choice but to take a break from extensive travel over the two years and to rely on virtual alternatives to build relationships with clients and colleagues.
“Our research shows that business travel and the value of in-person relationships to drive growth go hand in hand.
“However, there is clearly a renewed focus on the entire business travel experience to ensure companies and employees maximize the value of travel.”
Originally published by BTN Europe.