Post-Pandemic Corporate Travel Trends from Our Survey with Skift
Skift and TravelBank recently surveyed 640 corporate travel and finance professionals on the permanent changes remote work has introduced for corporate travel programs and expense management strategies. Here’s are the post-pandemic corporate travel trends we found…
Post-Pandemic Corporate Travel Trends
It’s no surprise the post-pandemic workplace has created new considerations for travel planning, employee experiences, and expense reporting. In addition to the resurgence of traditional road warriors, remote working has ushered in a rise of infrequent travelers who are submitting more expenses than they have in the past, while having less experience and understanding of the process.
- About 60% of executives said their corporate travel budgets are now above pre-pandemic levels. One-quarter of managers said that their corporate travel budgets were up “significantly” over 2019.
- In many cases, budgetary savings from remote work set-ups have led to increased travel. In an open-ended response to the Skift and TravelBank survey, one executive reported that “[employees] are traveling much more frequently after the closure of some of our offices, presumably because much of the budget has been freed up.”
- These cost savings have now converged with “widespread video conferencing and online meeting fatigue,” subsequently supporting an increase in business travel demand.
- Internal, in-person meetings from Fortune 1,000 companies have an average of 32 attendees and grew by 515% in 2022 versus the previous year.
As these trends settle out, the outlook is positive for business travel in general and for employees who not only enjoy the productivity of working from home (at least occasionally) but also want the opportunity to travel and benefit from in-person interaction.
Permanent Effects on Travel and Finance Departments
Remote work has created new considerations for travel scheduling, booking, experiences, and expenses:
- Intra-company travel generates more expense reports, oftentimes coming from employees who may not be as savvy or organized when it comes to travel and expense.
- In remote and distributed environments, there are also more variable costs for travel due to a growing number of “home bases.”
- The concept of a headquarters city, airport, or flagship airline has become less common for many companies, which has made travel and expense more complicated for internal meetings, group travel, and conferences.
Having the right technology to stitch all this together is essential. The Skift and TravelBank survey reflected this reality, as 71% of executives said that remote work has impacted their company’s software and technology purchases for corporate travel.
More specifically, the survey found that there is high interest in technology that supports remote working trends.
- More than 80% of respondents said that they were either “very” or “somewhat” interested in a solution that makes it easier to book group travel.
- Another 84% of respondents said they were either “very” or “somewhat” interested in a solution that made it easier to track expenses for blended trips that mix business and leisure.
>> Download the full research report from Skift: Essential Software for the New Era of Corporate Travel <<