April 24, 2024

Business travellers and buyers feel the pressure

Just over four in five global business travellers (82%) say their company is returning to pre-pandemic levels but with a “more travel on fewer shoulders” approach.

This was one of the findings in a SAP Concur survey of 3,850 global business travellers across 25 markets and 700 global travel managers across seven markets.

The survey also found:

  • 61% of business travellers report that their current travel schedules are falling short of their expectations. Many say a change in corporate travel direction may be to blame
  • 91% consider some flexible travel and booking options as essential for their company to allow to protect their health and safety when they travel for business, compared to 89% in 2021
  • 82% say their business travel has been impacted by the war in Ukraine, and safety concerns for travelling to certain parts of the world is the most common reason business travellers say they’d decline a business trip, with over half of business travellers (53%) saying they’d do so
  • 51% are willing to decline a business trip their company assigns if they have Covid-19 related health concerns about the trip
  • 26% are willing to cancel a business trip assigned by their company if they’re feeling burnt out with travel and need a break
  • 24% would decline a trip assigned to them if it required using non-sustainable travel options
  • 23% say they’ll look for a new position if their travel schedule doesn’t improve.

The survey found travel managers are also feeling under pressure:

  • 100% expect their role to be more challenging in the next 12 months compared to last year
  • 49% report that the stress is coming from above, through increasing pressure from senior leadership to demonstrate the ROI of their role.

“This year’s survey revealed that a degree of unhappiness and anxiety persists among business travellers and travel managers worldwide,” said Charlie Sultan, President of Concur Travel.

“If things don’t change, nearly a quarter of global business travellers will consider looking for a new job – bad news for any business struggling with attrition, skills gaps and a labour shortage.”

The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research between April 28 and May 23, 2022.