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Corporate travel programs must adapt to the way business travel happens now

Corporate travel programs must adapt to the way business travel happens now
Corporate travel programs must adapt to the way business travel happens now
Written by Harry Johnson

Corporate businesses need to be thoughtful about how they’re implementing or re-implementing their travel programs now

Corporate travel and in-person meetings increasingly returning, but are corporate travel programs and policies keeping up with the way business travel happens now?

Business travelers are taking to the roads and the skies again and businesses need to be thoughtful about how they’re implementing – or re-implementing – their travel programs.

The report finds that travel managers emerging from the pandemic are laser-focused on a few key considerations when it comes to evolving business travel programs at their companies: traveler safety, policy compliance, and sustainability.

Compared to two years ago, 75% of employers are more focused on traveler safety/well-being, 55% are more focused on sustainability/social responsibility, and 53% are more focused on travel policy compliance/enforcement.

“As we’ve moved through the pandemic, business travel and travelers have changed and therefore company travel programs must evolve accordingly. This research puts a spotlight on some of the important and thoughtful considerations happening across companies and corporate travel departments when it comes to serving employees traveling for business moving forward,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO of GBTA.

Getting business travelers from Point A to B and everywhere in between

When thinking about their company’s current approach to managing ground transportation, survey respondents identified some of the top strengths of their travel programs – as well as notable areas for improvement.

  • Rideshare and rental cars top the list. Most travel managers say their company’s employees “frequently” use rental cars (82%) and rideshare apps (70%) on work trips, but fewer than half (48%) say employees frequently use taxis.
     
  • Going premium. Most travel policies at least sometimes allow chauffeured transportation/black car service (74%), premium ridesharing (68%), and premium/luxury rental cars (51%). Roughly one-third say their company’s employees “sometimes” or frequently” use chauffeured transportation (36%) or premium ridesharing (30%).

Half of travel programs (49%) currently have a business account with a rideshare platform and one-third (35%) would consider it. The most important features cited by travel managers were reporting (76%), integration with expense platforms (69%), and ability to apply company policies (62%).

Evolving business travel for people and the planet – despite the cost

  • Making sustainability a priority. An overwhelming majority (84%) say sustainability is at least somewhat important in the design of their company’s travel program, with 50% saying it is very or extremely important.​​​​​​
     
  • Of the companies surveyed, 73% are tracking or considering setting up tracking ground transportation sustainability efforts.
     
  • Even though travel programs prioritize sustainability, not all are willing to incur significant additional cost in order to achieve more sustainable outcomes. Only 6% of respondents say their company currently allows employees to spend more on sustainable travel options, and an additional one-quarter (26%) are considering allowing employees to spend more.

Work meets play, but how does travel policy follow?

  • Business and leisure, better together. Ninety percent of respondents say employees are more (30%) or equally as interested (60%) in bleisure travel – adding vacation days to their work trips – compared to pre-pandemic times. And although 36% say their company’s travel policy expressly allows bleisure trips, 49% their policy does not, but employees are often allowed to take these trips in practice.

A business traveler has to eat – but what are the rules now?

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About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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