The Association of Corporate Travel Executives found in a survey last month that a lot of business travelers will be open their wallets a little wider. Seventy percent of respondents say they expect to shell out more on business travel next year, with 60 percent indicating that their employees would travel more next year. Meanwhile, the National Business Travel Association found that travel spending is up 5.5 percent over last year and is likely to inch 4.5 percent higher next year.
“In recent months, soaring corporate profits and strong cash reserves have meant that companies have begun to relax their travel restrictions and allow their existing employees to get out on the road more,” says Suzanne Cook, senior adviser with the U.S. Travel Association. “It shows that companies are realizing the value of face-to-face travel to not only preserve current relationships but to build future business.”
With hotel and airline prices going up, which is part of the reason for the increase in spending, many businesses are looking at alternatives. Fifty-four percent of corporate travel executives are pushing videoconferencing and other ways to stay in touch.