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Declining Travel Impacting Canadian Business Travelers’ Careers, SAP Concur Survey Finds

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Declining Travel Impacting Canadian Business Travelers’ Careers, SAP Concur Survey Finds



  Declining Travel Impacting Canadian Business Travelers' Careers, SAP Concur Survey Finds

94 per cent of Canadian travellers say the future of their career depends on successful business travel in the coming year

New research from SAP Concur reveals the most pressing challenges facing Canadian business travellers today. Serving as an annual touchpoint to assess the realities of the business travel landscape, the survey uncovers how factors including economic inflation, job security, and safety concerns are impacting corporate travel.

The survey polls 3,850 business travellers in 25 global markets which includes 250 respondents within Canada. The top Canadian findings include:

Canadians Believe Job Security is Dependent on Business Travel

Even as the logistics of business travel become increasingly subject to economic volatility, 94 per cent of Canadian travellers say the future of their career depends on successful business travel in the coming year. For nearly half of Canadian business travellers, travel is critical for keeping up on the latest trends, technology and advancements (48%) and establishing relationships with new clients (47%). These findings reinforce the undeniable significance of business travel for Canadian professionals, highlighting its pivotal role in career advancement and maintaining a competitive edge in today’s dynamic market.

“Business travel is the backbone of success for Canadian professionals, with 94 per cent recognizing its impact on their career growth in the year ahead,” says Kristen Hrycoy, Senior Global Partner Business Manager SAP Concur. “Corporate travel plays a vital role in helping workers establish relationships with new clients and build meaningful connections with co-workers. It is imperative for businesses to invest in the right travel and expense management tools to prioritize employee safety, gain better cost control, and create a travel environment that promotes inclusivity and equity for all.”

Business Travel Increasingly Subject to Economic Volatility

96 per cent of Canadian business travellers recognize there are threats to their company’s business travel. More than 2 in 5 (44%) view inflation as among the biggest threats to business travel today, while 33% express the same concern regarding cuts to travel budgets or travel freezes. For 91 per cent of Canadian business travellers, the uncertain economy is already affecting their company’s business travel, with the most common impact being reduced travel budgets (47%). Many have also seen policy changes that impact the comfort and pleasure of their business travel, including requiring travellers to stay in lower quality accommodations and/or less safe areas (28%) or emphasizing lower airfares despite layovers, indirect routes or alternative airports (28%)

Canadian Business Travellers Are Experiencing Danger on the Road

Staying healthy and safe while traveling for business isn’t just a top concern for Canadian travellers; threats to this can be a dealbreaker. The most commonly viewed threat to business travel today is health and safety concerns (51%). Unfortunately, travellers’ fears are well-founded—over a quarter of Canadian business travellers (27%) have experienced a situation on a business trip where they felt they were in immediate danger. The vast majority of Canadian business travellers at companies with a corporate travel policy (90%) expect their company to allow them to make travel choices that are outside of that policy for reasons like safety, work-life balance and sustainability. Nearly half expect their employer to allow them to book travel that falls outside of company policy to ensure they feel safe while traveling in certain areas of the world (49%).

Unequal Business Travel Opportunities Concern Some Canadians

A significant disparity exists in the Canadian business travel landscape, with an alarming 67 per cent of business travellers facing unequal opportunities, especially because of their ethnicity or race (22%, compared to 15% globally), their age (21%), their accent (16%), and their gender (16%). These findings underscore the pressing need to address systemic biases and create a more inclusive and equitable environment for Canadian business travellers.

For more information, download the Canadian addendum and Global Business Traveller whitepapers.

The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 3,850 business travellers defined as those who travel for business three or more times annually from the following markets: U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, LAC (Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Argentina), U.K., France, Germany, ANZ region (Australia and New Zealand), SEA region (Singapore and Malaysia), China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, India, Korea, Italy, Spain, Dubai, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg), South Africa, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Additionally, Wakefield Research surveyed 700 travel managers from the following markets: U.S., Mexico, UK, France, Germany, SEA region (Singapore and Malaysia), and Hong Kong. Both surveys took place April 7 – 28TH 2023. For the interviews conducted in this study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 1.6 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

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