BELLEVUE, Wash.—New research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services in association with Egencia, the business travel arm of Expedia Group, shows that when aligned with a company’s strategy, a well-managed travel program can deliver a tangible competitive advantage. The report—”Travel Culture: Your Competitive Advantage in a Global Market“—shows 58 percent of business leaders confirm that having a strong travel culture—one where the company, its leaders, and its processes support the use of corporate travel as a form of strategic investment with business value—produces better business results.
The research reveals that over the last year, companies with a strong travel culture had double the rate of improvement in key areas such as customer loyalty and retention (50 percent vs. 21 percent), market share (43 percent vs. 22 percent), and employee satisfaction (35 percent vs. 15 percent), compared to companies with a weak travel culture. Even profitability improved significantly (47 percent vs. 29 percent), indicating the impact a well-managed business travel program can have on achieving results.
However, less than a third of the 587 business leaders surveyed believe that their organization actually has a strong travel culture. In fact, most admit that managed corporate travel is not seen as a strategic investment in its future but rather a cost to be minimized. Even so, the majority of business leaders recognize that in-person interactions help ensure positive long-term relationships with customers (84 percent) and between employees in a company (78 percent).