Daily, over 1.3 million people travel for business in the US. Seeing how popular business travel is, we wanted to find out what corporate travellers truly want from such a trip and if there are any options to make their lives more comfortable while travelling.

After asking 502 corporate travellers from the US, we found out what they want from business travelling. Some figures that stood out are:

  • $700 is the average out-of-pocket spend per business trip for corporate travellers
  • 63% of their out-of-pocket expenses usually goes towards dining experiences
  • 30% of business travellers think the main benefit of business travelling is breaking their routine

What business travellers want

More money to experience the world

The business travel study showed that, on average, corporate travellers spend an extra $700 beyond their designated budget. When asked, travellers told us the most common categories to spend money on are:

  • 63% spend extra on dining expenses
  • 57% spend extra on entertainment
  • 55% spend extra on tips and gratuities

When it comes to actual figures, international business travellers spend the most, around $2000 per person, while domestic travellers only spend around $500.

What business travellers really want – corporate travel survey reveals it all

Incentives for business travel

When travelling for business, some of the facilities business travellers are most excited about are:

  • Hotel bars (51%)
  • On-site fitness facilities (51%)
  • Indoor/outdoor pools (48%)
  • On-site relaxation facilities (46%)

Meanwhile, when it comes to choosing what they’re looking forward to when travelling for their company, employees answered that the real head-turners are:

  • All-paid dining options (52%)
  • Luxury accommodation (47%)
  • Per diem allowances (34%)
  • Premium benefits (33%)

For international travellers, the premium benefits were more appealing, while domestic travellers were interested more in their per diem allowance.

The benefits of corporate travel

When asked to reflect on the benefits of a business trip, 42% of travellers cited career development as a main driver and 38% were looking forward to networking or making new connections.

When it comes to international versus domestic travel, 32% of international travellers named cultural enrichment as one of the benefits compared to 14% of domestic travellers. On the other hand, 33% of domestic travellers looked forward to breaking their routine compared to 16% of international travellers.

What business travellers really want – corporate travel survey reveals it all

International travellers also feel a more powerful impact than domestic travellers when it comes to:

  • Personal development (90% compared to 73%)
  • Self-awareness (87% compared to 70%)
  • Mental health (77% compared to 48%)
  • Physical health (74% compared to 41%)
  • Family/relationship (64% compared to 35%)

We can also see this type of disparity in the age of business travellers, with travellers between 18 and 35 years-old embracing business travel more than travellers older than 46 years-old. The numbers are:

  • For mental health – 63% of 18 to 35 year’s-old feel a positive impact, compared to 41%.
  • For physical health – 59% of 18 to 35 year’s-old feel a positive impact, compared to 34%.
  • For family/relationship – 48% of 18 to 35 year’s-old feel a positive impact, compared to 29%.

What corporate travellers don’t want

For our corporate traveller study, we also wanted to know about the main concerns of business travellers. The first three that stood out were:

  • 39% were concerned about costs and expenses, like the rising costs of travelling and inefficient reimbursement and expense management.
  • 31% were concerned about travel delays and disruptions, like long waiting times, flight cancellations or lost luggage.
  • 23% were concerned about safety and health, like contracting an illness or accumulating stress.

Other challenges associated with business travelling were:

  • Family separation, with 36% of respondents picking this one.
  • Sleep disruption or jetlag, with 33% of respondents choosing this one.
What business travellers really want – corporate travel survey reveals it all

According to a study from Capterra, business travellers struggle with the expense reporting process. Introducing your expenses manually can cause multiple problems, like:

  • 41% are filling reports without receipts
  • 29% of reports have missing information
  • 24% have duplicated expenses
  • 23% of reports have mathematical errors
  • 20% of reports don’t meet company policies

According to our study, these mistakes can be bypassed in the future with the help of AI, as automated expense tracking and reporting apps are on the horizon.

Conclusion

Overall, we can see that the main concern of business travellers is monetary. From the fear of not being reimbursed to spending more on experiences and fun, corporate travellers want to combine financial security and great memories in all their trips.

But, the moment we start separating business travellers into different categories, we can tell there’s a big difference between generations and types of travel (international and domestic).

When employees go on a business trip, they want to make sure their mental and physical health is given priority and that they get some time to relax.

One thing is for sure though: a business trip can be a pleasant disruption to the routine, where they can experience all-paid dining options and network.

Methodology

From 22 November to 4 December 2023, Booking.com for Business surveyed 502 full-time (95%) and part-time (5%) professionals across the US who travel for business. Of this subset, 65% were male and 35% female between the ages of 18 and 65 years old. We included a representative mix of employees from various-sized companies, departments, industries and job roles within their organisations.

Sources

  1. Financesonline: 105 Critical Business Travel Statistics: 2024 Spending & Concerns Analysis
  2. Capterra: As Travel Takes Off, Companies Can Avoid Turbulence by Optimizing Travel Processes
  3. Business travel and AI: Unpacking the trust and interest in AI features

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