Can We Afford Not to Invest in Business Travel?

Statistics & Metrics

original author/publisher IHS Global Insight

Date: September 16, 2009


About this Resource

Businesses and politicians across America are questioning business travel, asking whether it is a necessary expense. From a business perspective, travel is increasingly perceived as a cost to be contained and controlled during a time of economic distress. Businesses are focusing on travel as an expense rather than an investment, and are quick to restrict or eliminate business travel.

Additionally, corporate and government business travel expenditures have recently become fodder for the press and one-liners for late-night television with stories of extravagant trips and lavish dining. Although these headline-grabbing events rarely represent the true nature of business travel, politicians and the public have been asking hard questions about the appropriateness of business travel.

The truth behind the tabloid headlines is much more startling. Conventional wisdom says that face-to-face meetings are an essential part of building successful business relationships. Now more than ever, as the economy falters and customers look to trim costs, business travel is critical to closing that next big deal or retaining that key corporate account. This study conducted by IHS Global Insight, on behalf of the National Business Travel Association, presents the incremental return on investment associated with optimizing business travel to drive sales during these challenging economic times. To accomplish this, we estimate the incremental return on investment for 15 distinct industries and demonstrate:

• Business Travel Contributes to Sales: A significant and measurable relationship exists between business travel expenditures and sales volumes.

• Sizeable Returns on Investment: An average incremental return on investment of 15:1; or for every dollar spent, the average company would realize a $15 increase in incremental profit resulting from increased sales.

• Returns on Investment Vary by Industry: These returns vary across each of the 15 industry segments investigated by the study.


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Paul Yachnes

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