Travel and Expense

Business Travelers are Ready to Go, but First a Few Requests

SAP Concur Team |

Business travel continues to change, and business travelers are speaking up about the changes they’d like to see.

They, like every other employee, have long been tired of what they feel are unreasonable employer demands. And now, as business figures out its new normal, travelers have come up with relevant demands of their own. Like safety, for example. And the flexibility to pick where they stay and how they get there. To top it off, they’d love to help save the planet at the same time.

Global Business Traveler Report 2022

See the findings from our survey of 3,850 business travelers across 25 global markets for insight into what's at the top of their minds. 

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But instead of addressing these requests and rethinking their travel programs, many companies are attempting to get back up to 2019-era travel by placing more and more trips in fewer roller-bags.

According to this year’s Global Business Travel Survey of 3,850 business travelers across 25 global markets, “most business travelers say their companies are returning to pre-pandemic travel levels but are spreading it among fewer employees, an approach that leaves the majority unhappy with their travel frequency.”

Unhappy? How unhappy? Well, our findings say they’re unhappy enough to leave their jobs.

To business travelers, flexibility now equates to safety and freedom of choice. If they’re visiting a certain city and choosing their carrier and accommodations, they want to be able to pick their preferred airline and select a hotel in a safe neighborhood. They want to decide how long their trip will be because they don’t want to be away from home or their families for weeks at a time. And they want to be able to change travel plans without repercussions, so if there’s an outbreak in their destination, they can skip the trip.

Providing for these preferences might require rather significant changes in your corporate travel policy—changes that could be a key strategy for retaining your talent. Nearly a quarter (23%) of business travelers who are traveling more than they like say they’ll search for a new position if things don’t change.

And speaking of change, travelers are taking sustainability into their own hands, booking air, lodging, and car rentals based on how those suppliers match their personal ecological goals. And again, these travelers are speaking out: 24% of them are ready to refuse a business trip if it requires using non-sustainable travel options.

No, business travelers aren’t in the back seat anymore. But—as our findings point out—if we want to drive real change in corporate travel, maybe it’s time we let them take the wheel.

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