Research also highlighted travel programmes need more executive support
Amex GBT report reveals decision-makers believe travel drives growth
B2B travel platform American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) and Harvard Business Review Analytic Services have released a new report titled Investing in Travel to Drive Business Growth: A Strategy for Thriving in Disruption.
Based on a survey of 425 business respondents around the world, it found 84% agree their organisations realise 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.
88% say in-person interactions are critical for ensuring positive, long-term relationships between coworkers.
With only 7% saying their work place model is completely officed based, a chance to meet and bring people together is needed as 81% agree that in-person interactions foster greater levels of innovation, and seven in 10 say in-person meetings are the best way to facilitate brainstorming.
The report revealed 82% of respondents cited business travel as “very important” for a travel programme to support the organisation while only 49% said their travel programme has this to a “great extent”.
Andrew Crawley, president of Amex GBT, 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.”
Alex Clemente, managing director of Analytic Services of Harvard Business Review, said: “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.”