Time to take the bus! 40% of corporate travel managers expect budgets to be slashed

Portrait of a business man traveling by plane and working on his laptop computer - business trip concepts
Edited by Travel Weekly

    A huge two-thirds of global travel managers are expecting to face tighter travel budgets this year, according to research from SAP concur.

    The cost of travel being disrupted came out as a top concern for respondents of SAP’s latest Concur Global Business Travel Survey released on the 20th of June. The survey included responses from 3,750 business travellers in 24 markets as well as 600 travel managers. A travel manager is defined as someone who directs corporate travel programmes across Germany, the UK, US, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

    Over a third of business travellers (36 per cent) were forced to incur additional expenses on a trip due to “unexpected travel challenges” whilst 80 per cent have been forced to take “unanticipated steps” in the past 12 months due to cancellations, delays or re-routing.

    Younger travellers – 94 per cent of Gen Z and 90 per cent of millennials – were more likely to have had to take unanticipated steps due to travel disruption. For Gen X and boomers the numbers were lower (82 and 68 per cent).

    A total of 42 per cent of travel managers said they expect their company to cut travel costs this year which will make their jobs more difficult and limit the flexibility of travel.

    Meanwhile, 42 per cent of travel managers said company directives to cut travel costs will make their job more difficult this year, a move that is also expected to limit the flexibility of travel, according to the study.

    “The current economic environment is driving tension among business travellers, travel managers, and company leadership,” said Concur Travel  Charlie Sultan is quoted as saying in Business Travel News Europe.

    “Balance between flexibility and cost is delicate, not to mention pressures from new distribution channels and ongoing geopolitical issues. This year’s report demonstrates the need for a mutual understanding of these realities and compromise in corporate travel programmes.”

    Nearly all business travellers asked (91 per cent) said their company had restricted some travel options. This included a restriction on blended travel (27 per cent), a cut back on comfort requests such as staying overnight to avoid a long travel day (28 per cent), paying more for a direct flight (28 per cent), booking premium fares (27 per cent) or allowing taxi travel over public transport (27 per cent).

    This tightening of the market has led to an increase in inequality with 66 per cent saying they felt they’d had an unequal opportunity to take trips compared to their colleagues.


    Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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