- 71% respondents claim that their air travel for domestic & international business trips has stayed unchanged or increased in 2012
- 59% respondents acknowledged that their company has introduced some form of travel cost reduction measures
Resonating the global sentiment, the annual India Business Travel Survey by TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site, reports a mixed
outlook for business travel for 2012. The survey was taken by over 1300
respondents with a cross section working in government, public sector, private
companies, multinationals as well as self employed. While the survey results suggest that growth in
business travel in 2012 has been confident in the face of softening economic
growth, it also reveals that companies are slowly but surely becoming
conscientious and watchful of their travel expenses, which could be symptomatic
of an imminent slowdown.
Domestic business trips in 2012 have
increased or stayed the same for 67% respondents with a decline for 33%. Even
international business trips have increased for 40% respondents and remained
unchanged for 28% with a fall in foreign travel for 32%. While both these
numbers show that for majority of respondents, work related travel has been
stable or shown an increase, but close to one-third of travellers who have
witnessed a fall in their business trips from 2011 cannot be ignored.
overall business travel has been strong and stable despite the current economic
environment, there are signs of a potential impact on travel frequency and
cost. Survey results show over one-third
of respondents confirming a decline in work trips this year from 2011, along with
organizations growing careful and vigilant of their travel spends” said Nikhil
Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India.
He further added, “59% respondents acknowledged that their company has introduced
some form of travel cost reduction measures like lowering grade of airline
travel or fall in the average room night allowance. In fact 35% respondents
among those who saw a drop in business trips in 2012 attributed it to cost
cutting travel policies put in place by their organization.”
Cost Cutting Plays Spoilsport!
Travel privileges/allowances see a downgrade for a sizeable number of business travellers.
- 21% respondents who were flying business/first class for most trips in 2011 had to fly economy on most or some work trips in 2012; only 3% saw an upgrade in class of travel this year compared to 2011
- 24% confirmed that their number of nights per work trip have reduced compared to 2011 and 16% cited increase in number of times they avoid staying overnight in a city and instead fly back same day, both owing to company travel policy cost cutting.
- Over 70% saw no change in class of hotel stay whereas 18% had to stay in a lower star rated hotel or even switched from a hotel to a guest-house for some or most work trips in 2012, as compared to 2011 due to company’s cost cutting policies
- 51% respondents revealed a change in their company’s internal offsite plan for 2012 due to cost cutting by:
o Reducing duration of offsite - 11%
o Cancelling an offsite – 10%
o Changing international offsite to domestic destination - 9%o Opting for lower star rated hotel/resort - 8%
- 59% respondents acknowledged that their company introduced some form of travel cost reduction measures, such as:
o Lowered grade of airline travel – 17%
o Lowered average room night allowance – 15%
o Recommending use of public transport instead of cabs – 14%
o Reduce daily cash allowance – 9%
Remote meeting tools seem to be gaining widespread acceptance in India. Among those who saw a decline in their business travel between 2011 and 2012, a good 46% respondents said that their business travel requirements have been reducing in general due to remote meeting tools. In another question, 42% respondents said their company has been recommending more use of remote meeting tools as a measure of travel cost reduction.