Travel Management
 min read

Business Trips and the Bottom Line: The ROI of Corporate Travel

March 19, 2021
Locomote team
Tass Messinis
March 19, 2021
Locomote blog posts

The thrill of an overseas meeting, a networking event, and even an international airport lounge - corporate travel can be a career highlight for many employees.

Thankfully for businesses, corporate travel can also be a powerful way to boost the bottom line.

Below we explore the ways business trips offer significant return on investment.

The ROI Of Corporate Travel

According to an Oxford Economics USA Report, corporate travel contributes to higher client retention, benefits business development, presents networking opportunity and assists human resources.

More significantly, their survey of corporate executives found the average return on investment of business travel was between $10 and $14.99 per dollar invested.

Sure, it’s one thing for businesses to sing the praises of corporate travel, but another for economists to agree, right? Using their quantitative analysis, The Oxford Economics USA report also found ROI of business travel was in fact $12.50.

Re-Energised Returning Travellers

A successful business trip empowers employees with renewed motivation and international insights. Businesses should harness this post-trip productivity by encouraging returning road warriors to share their experiences with their peers.

Better yet, managers should facilitate innovation. Having returned travellers conduct a collaborative learning session, using their international insights as fuel for new ideas, can be another source of ROI.

Furthermore, travel managers should take international networking opportunities into consideration when planning itineraries. We know that positive employees are productive employees overseas, so managers should prioritise accommodation close to social hubs and cultural attractions.

Online Meetings Are Cheaper, But You Can’t Afford Them

With countless online meeting and web conferencing tools on the market, some may scoff at spending thousands of dollars sending employees overseas.

Yes, platforms like GoToMeeting and Skype make it easy to conduct a business meeting with individuals around the globe. And yes, many of them are free, and most of them are affordable for any business.

However, your business can’t afford them.

According to the Oxford Economics Report, the average US business would surrender 17% of its profits in the first year of eliminating business travel.

The same Report found that executives and business travellers alike said 40% of their prospective customers are converted to new customers with an in-person meeting. Without an in-person meeting, this number drops to 16%.

In the digital age, a face-to-face meeting is one of the most powerful tools in a business’ arsenal.

International meetings send an even clearer message: your business cares enough to travel across the globe to meet them.

Reducing The Cost Of Corporate Travel

The expenses associated with international business travel can be enough for CFOs to opt for online meetings. However, with the right strategy and the right technology, CFOs and Travel Managers can find ways to reduce the cost of corporate travel, without compromising on quality.

Often, the first reflex of CFOs trying to reduce travel spend is to put their road warriors through redeye flights, long layovers and economy seats on long haul journeys.

However, corporate travel (despite its appeal) can be mentally and physically taxing. Prioritising the comfort of travelling employees is crucial.

Using an effective travel management platform empowers you to locate savings in other areas of the itinerary, so the comfort of employees doesn’t have to suffer.

It also allows you to secure the best flight and accommodation deals, manage team communication and ensure travel budgets are met.