November 30, 2023

SAP Concur survey: Strong appetite for business travel

British business travellers are keen to get back on the road, according to a study by SAP Concur.

A survey of  500 UK business travellers and 100 UK travel managers found 99% of business travellers are willing to travel for business again in the next 12 months and 65% actively want to.

Meanwhile, travel managers expect to increase spend on business travel by an average of 33% in the coming year.

According to the research, business travellers cited a number of problems for their companies if business travel does not restart within the next year. 

The main concerns were fewer deals being signed (33%), falling behind competition (32%) and even the risk of their company going out of business (13%). 

From a personal perspective, business travellers believe that a failure to restart business travel will mean they make less money (39%) and will struggle to advance their career (34%). 

Almost one-in-10 (8%) business travellers want to get back to business travel because their partner wants them out of the house.

When business travel resumes, travellers will have heightened expectations about their business travel experience.

The research found 46% wanted the ability to choose direct flights, 37% want to select premium seating and 36% want to book four or five star hotels.

Darryl McGarvey, Director of Channel Development at SAP Concur, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic put a halt on business travel, but now we are starting to see restrictions lift it is clear that there is a strong appetite for business travellers to get back to business trips. 

“Travellers understand the importance of business travel to the success of their organisation, as well as their own personal success. This return to business travel can have a really positive impact on employee wellbeing, as well as the British economy that relies upon businesses getting deals done.”

But he added: “Despite this appetite, employees’ expectations of their employer to protect their health and safety while traveling for business remain. After a year of being grounded by events beyond their control, employees are ready to return to business travel, but on their own terms. 

“The actions that companies take in the next 12 months could make or break their ability to acquire and retain valuable employees amid a competitive market for talent. Organisations must ensure they are providing the business travel experience that their employees want, or fear risking them to competition that will.”