Forward-thinking organizations are leaning in to travel as a driver of growth, according to a new report by American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) and Harvard Business Review.
According to the study, which polled business leaders around the world, 84 per cent of respondents stated 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.
Business travel is seen as a key lever for bringing people together – especially now as teams are more dispersed with organizations embracing hybrid and remote working.
Just seven per cent say their workplace model is completely office based today.
“The survey findings show strong awareness of business travel’s critical role in connecting people, driving growth and supporting success,” said Andrew Crawley, president, Amex GBT, in a press release. “Travel is also inherently more complex in a landscape of disruption, making the value of managed business travel more evident than ever.”
With leaders agreeing that business travel can foster growth and innovation for their businesses, seven in 10 say in-person meetings are the best way to facilitate brainstorming, the report demonstrates demand for business travel is likely to increase.
This is backed by other industry experts who have already declared that travel demand will increase going into fall and into next year.
According to the Global Business Travel Association’s latest Business Travel Index Outlook report, business travel spending is expected to surpass 2019 levels in 2024, two years sooner than previously forecast.
And, as organizations adopt a combination of in-person, hybrid, and remote work approaches, business travel is emerging as a strategic tool that not only fosters collaboration but also generates concrete business benefits.
“While there is a return to business travel, this report demonstrates the dangers in not maintaining face-to-face relationships with customers, workers, and business partners. Collaboration, innovation, and relationships suffer,” said Alex Clemente, managing director of analytic services at Harvard Business Review.
The full report is available here.