Growing numbers of companies recognise business travel as a driver of corporate growth, says survey
Business travel is increasingly viewed not as a cost to but as an economic lever to boost corporate growth, according to a new survey by American Express Global Business Travel.
The 2017 European Business Travel Barometer analyses the views of 982 travel, HR and procurement professionals across Europe and it shows that almost half of companies consider travel as a form of investment; up by 28 percentage points in the past three years.
Our chart this week shows how this view differs across Europe.
Asked about specific business activities which were underpinned by business travel, 32% of companies said budgets fund travel to existing marketplaces and retaining customers, while 22% said budgets were allocated against winning new business in new marketplaces. Small companies allocate the largest proportion of their budgets (69%) to developing their customer base.
The survey was also optimistic about business travel spend in 2017. Respondents to the survey said they expected spend to grow by 2.5% in 2016, compared with just 1% in 2016. The results also revealed that growth in travel spend in 2016 was driven by small and mid-size companies, which saw budget increases of 1.8% and 2.1% respectively.
Elyes Mrad, American Express GBT’s managing director for EMEA, said: “The findings of this year’s Barometer reflect the positivity we’re seeing in the marketplace. Businesses are now looking to corporate travel as an investment to support growth objectives rather than treating it as a cost, with small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) in particular leading the way. This SME sector is the backbone of all European economies; their optimism is good news for entire marketplace.”