Your corporate travel agency can expect to be busier over the next year, if it follows the trend reported last week by Executive Travel Magazine. A survey conducted by American Airlines reveals that businesses are feeling much more optimistic about travel booking for those face-to-face business meetings, helping to drive an increase in bookings for an industry that has struggled throughout the economic downturn.
According to Executive Travel, American polled more than 1,100 companies in its Business ExtrAA program for small and medium-sized ventures, and found that 86 percent expect their level of travel to stay the same or increase by up to 24 percent in the next 12 months. Six percent predicted an increase of 25 percent or more.
Expectations for an improved economy and a belief in the inherent value of face-to-face interactions when it comes to forging or retaining business relationships appear to be driving expanded funding for corporate travel. Even with the development of new technologies to enhance long distance business communication, nothing seems to work as well as the type of personal interaction that requires travel.
In related news, Gartner’s recent forecast for software-as-a-service revenue to hit $14.5 billion worldwide in 2012 also mentions the fact that expense management is the most common solution deployment in North America. It seems businesses are in a mood to make the most of their travel budgets while managing T&E at a higher level than ever before. If the upward travel trend continues, we can likely expect expense management deployments to follow suit.