Business travel gives companies a valuable return in today’s hybrid world, with most decision-makers believing that meeting in person enables deal-making, company culture and innovation. This was found in a new report from American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. The work, called "Investing in Travel to Drive Business Growth: A Strategy for Thriving in Disruption," is based on a survey of 425 business respondents around the world.
The respondents recognized attributes that make corporate travel programs effective, while also identifying gaps and areas to improve.
Closing Deals: 84 percent of respondents agree their organizations realize tangible business value from trips to meet with clients or prospects in person. The majority of respondents also say face-to-face meetings create stronger relationships with customers and are the best meeting method to make sales and initiate discussions with M&A targets.
Strengthening Organizations: 88 percent say in-person interactions are critical for ensuring positive, long-term relationships between coworkers. Business travel is a key lever for bringing people together—especially now, as teams are more dispersed with organizations embracing hybrid and remote working. Just 7 percent say their workplace model is completely office-based today.
Driving Innovation: 81 percent agree that in-person interactions foster greater levels of innovation. Another seven in 10 say in-person meetings are the best way to facilitate brainstorming.
Mind the Gaps: Decision-makers clearly understand the hallmarks of effectively managed business travel, including the need for adequate funding, strategic alignment and support from executive leadership. However, in practice, the survey found significant gaps between the importance of these ideals and the reality.
Amex GBT President Andrew Crawley said, “The survey findings show strong awareness of business travel’s critical role in connecting people, driving growth and supporting success. Travel is also inherently more complex in a landscape of disruption, making the value of managed business travel more evident than ever. While many companies understand business travel is a strategic investment, it is also clear they see scope for enhancing the value and effectiveness of their travel programs.”
Source: Amex GBT