According to a new Tourism Economics survey conducted in partnership with US Travel, business travel demand has remained relatively resilient over the past four quarters, but cost controls and travel effectiveness are being more carefully scrutinized and could limit business travel over the next six months, the Association and JD Power.
The business travel survey for the first quarter of 2023 was conducted between March 30 and April 17 and included 2,379 business travelers. The company executive survey was conducted between March 28 and April 3 and included 113 respondents.
About 71 percent of business leaders surveyed said internal cost controls are likely to limit employee business travel over the next six months, up from 59 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022. Additionally, the most important non-cost factors for approving travel to conferences is the event is important for increasing company sales and revenue (cited by 56 percent of executives surveyed) and being able to engage with multiple new vendors or customers at the same time (50 percent).
The survey also found that air travel inefficiencies are hampering the recovery of business travel. Nearly three in ten respondents gave reasons other than cost for avoiding or canceling business trips in the past year.
The total time it took to travel to and from a business venue was reported by 40 percent of respondents when traveling to customers, suppliers or other stakeholders and 37 percent when traveling to conferences, conventions or traded. The possibility of a flight delay and cancellation was mentioned by 26 percent of those surveyed for both types of travel.