6th Annual Global Business Travelers Research Report

man running to train, business traveler

The latest SAP Concur research surveyed 3,750 business travelers across 24 global markets, exploring the challenges faced by today’s business travelers such as increased travel disruptions, geopolitical concerns, and corporate restrictions on travel freedoms. It also provides travel managers insights into how travelers perceive critical topics including artificial intelligence, equal opportunities in travel, sustainability, and work-life balance.

Business Travel is Essential to Career Success – and, Most Enjoy It

A significant majority of business travelers (67%) view business travel as essential to their careers, with 51% also enjoying it. However, the enjoyment is tempered by reduced flexibility, experienced by 91% of travelers over the past year.

  • More than a quarter (27%) note cuts to authorizing remote work during personal travel to avoid taking leave days, while 25% cite cutbacks on adding personal travel to their business trips.

Employee vs. Company Expectations

Compounding these issues is an increasing gap between employee expectations and company priorities, as evidenced by 92% of travelers willing to decline trips due to concerns about safety, social issues, environmental impact, or work-life balance.

So, it may come to now surprise that 36% of travel managers cite managing conflicting expectations between travelers and the company as a key challenge anticipated in the coming year.

Amid these challenges, artificial intelligence (AI) may offer solutions:

  • 91% of business travelers are open to AI-enabled options for booking travel.
  • Travelers express interest in AI-powered automation for wellbeing and safety guidance (37%), visa and documentation support (37%), expense capture and reporting (37%), and sustainable travel options (37%).

In an environment fraught with concerns over safety, costs, and sustainability, both companies and travelers must redefine flexibility and harness it to achieve their respective objectives.

To learn more, download the full report.