July 16, 2024

Navan White Paper analyses business travel in Europe

The increased cost of travel, combined with the impact of high interest rates and other macroeconomic shocks, is forcing businesses to look at how to reduce their travel spend.

But the return of business travel in the last three years has shown that in-person connections are integral to building corporate culture and driving business success.

This is the dilemma for corporates explored in a White Paper out this week from Navan, which shares key recommendations for companies to strike the right balance.

The report looks at major changes in Europe’s business travel landscape since 2021 and explains how companies can use the learnings to optimise their travel programmes.

It uses insights from anonymised travel bookings made between 2021 and 2023 from Navan customers based in Europe, plus bookings for Europe-origin flights and rail journeys and for hotels in the region.

Key findings include:

  • Air travel is still the most popular mode of travel in Europe. In 2023 it accounted for 75% of Navan bookings for travel within Europe versus rail, which accounted for the remaining 25%
  • But the share of rail bookings made with Navan in Europe increased by 2 percentage points in 2023
  • The average spend per Navan flight booking in Europe increased year-on-year by 40% in 2022 but decreased by 17% in 2023
  • NDC represents a potential savings opportunity of up to 12%, depending on the airline, according to an analysis of available airfares on Navan, which has NDC connections with 12 airlines in Europe.

The report also looks at the rise in hotel rates across Europe, due to the higher cost of running hotels and constructing new ones, as well as a significant increase in demand, initially for leisure travel in 2021 and then for business and event travel in 2022.

Based on trends, the White Paper makes four recommendations for corporates looking to reduce their travel spend.

Download the White Paper to see the recommendations and other key findings.