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In fact, nearly six in 10 (58%) of business leaders surveyed said 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 – is very important to their organisation’s business performance today.
The research was published in a report titled ‘Travel Culture: Your Competitive Advantage in a Global Market‘, and showcased the various benefits of having a travel culture in the organisation, as highlighted by respondents.
When asked about the biggest benefits reaped when employees travel within the organisation, the following were cited:
- Increased collaboration (67%).
- The ability to build stronger relationship within the organisation (66%).
- Better management of geographically dispersed teams (55%).
- The unification of a business culture across the globe (40%).
Similar benefits were seen when employees travel to meet key partners and customers. This includes:
- Building closer relationships with key customers (62%).
- Better collaboration with key partners and suppliers (55%).
- Increased understanding of customer needs (51%).
- Improved customer experience (41%).
“There’s no denying that in-person interactions can foster closer relationships with customers and business partners as well. For organisations operating at a global scale, such face time demands investment in travel,” the report stated.
Overall, business travel is a relationship builder – both inside and outside the organisation.
In particular, 84% of respondents said in-person meetings are required in order to maintain positive long-term relationships with customers; eight in 10 (80%) said it does so with key business partners and suppliers; and 78% said it helps foster relationships between employees and colleagues.
A comparison of different organisations’ travel culture priorities was also highlighted in the chart below:
The survey involved 587 readers of Harvard Business Review, in the regions:
- North America (53%)
- Europe (26%)
- Asia Pacific (13%)
- Latin America (4%)
- Middle East/Africa (3%)
The list was made up of leaders from varying roles including senior managers/department heads, directors, managers, and C-suite leaders, across industries.