The Benefits of Business Travel
Despite a five year economic downturn for many businesses, business travel has remained relatively the same for a majority of businesses. Some companies, in fact, are sending out their staff on more business trips throughout the year than they did 5 years ago! Rather than just haphazardly spend money on travel expenses, however, companies have started to become frugal about how they travel.
Nothing beats having a representative in a meeting to close a big deal, so here’s how companies are still getting the benefits of a business trip without the same costs:
Value is king today.
Instead of flying first class, representatives are flying coach. Sometimes they aren’t even flying any more, opting instead to provide a vehicle for business travel – even over long distances! Value hotel accommodations are also sought out as a first resort and meal stipends are reduced to reflect actual costs instead of estimated costs.
Discounts are sought out.
For those that travel for business regularly, nearly 9 out of 10 of them say that they follow travel agencies on their social media networks so they can take advantage of deals. Some even ask for specials to be delivered to their e-mail addresses so they can be notified if something exclusive comes up that they might be able to use.
There is a focus on online travel reviews.
In order to maximize the value of a business trip, more professionals than ever before are turning to review websites that offer people the chance to talk about their own trips. This allows a businesses to find a quality hotel in a great location at a price that is usually much lower than what luxury hotel chains may be offering.
Businesses are sharing travel experiences.
Business professionals that travel a lot have formed a bit of a club where they share personal experiences with each other, especially over social media networks. More than half of today’s traveling executives also said that they would routinely contact a brand’s customer service department to discuss a travel experience that they had.
It is all about finding where expenses can be controlled.
Travel companies are adjusting to the new normal of business travel by putting fees onto services that once were free. Despite maneuvers like this, it is the company that has control over their business travel expenses, not the travel companies. Proactive efforts can pay off with a lot of savings dividends, but these savings won’t just fall into their laps. In a sense, they must be earned.
The future of business travel looks bright, even if there is a movement toward using more teleconferencing systems or webinars for meetings and training sessions. Long distance communication might work in some instances, but most businesses know that investing a little into today’s travel expenses to close a big deal is worth it.
How are you saving on your travel expenses today? Are you spending less now than you did 5 years ago?