Workforce impact of travel budget cut?

Workforce impact of travel budget cut?

More than a third would leave organisation if travel budgets are reduced

  • New survey reveals the importance of business travel
  • More than a third (38%) would leave if travel budget cut saying it would be detrimental to business (44%)

Shrinking travel budgets could have a potential knock-on effect on staff retention as two fifths (38%) of UK business travellers say they would consider leaving their organisation if travel budgets are cut.

The new Opinium survey, commissioned by World Travel Protection, a leading global travel risk management organisation, finds that business travellers also say that travelling less would be detrimental to business (44%) and would affect their ability to be successful at their job (41%). Frequent business travellers, who travel at least once a month, feel this the most strongly (61%).

The business travellers surveyed said that work travel had gone up by almost a third (32%) in 2023 compared to 2022, with their business travel budget for eating, drinking and entertaining also rising by a third (34%).

The survey found that business travellers are working hard to get the most out of their travel budget by having more meetings per individual trip (33%) and going on longer trips than the previous year (29%).

Some business travellers are also experiencing a tightening of budgets with 14% staying in less expensive accommodation and 12% now flying Premium Economy or Economy instead of Business class. Half of business travellers (49%) expressed concern, however, that safety could be compromised if budget becomes the chief travel booking criteria.

Kate Fitzpatrick, Regional Security Director, EMEA at World Travel Protection, said: “Work travel remains fundamental to many businesses’ operations, and many workers feel unable to do their jobs properly without it. While, of course, it’s important to make travel cost effective, if keeping costs low  is the main booking criteria then this could compromise safety. For instance, it may be tempting to save money on accommodation, but not if the location is in an unsafe or hard to access location. Also hiring a car, rather than arranging for transport from an airport, may also be the cheaper option but not if travellers are not used to driving in that territory.

“World Travel Protection educates and trains businesses to mitigate exposure to inherent risks associated with travelling abroad. Organisations need to be prepared not only for expected issues in the destinations their staff are travelling to, but also the unexpected. In 2023, for instance, 80% of World Travel Protection’s calls from France pertained to fires and floods. 2024 is about preparing teams for what to do if an unforeseen crisis or disaster happens. Along with training prior to departure, having medical, travel and security emergency assistance 24/7 to support travellers on their trip should an incident occur is a critical component to mitigating unnecessary risk and incident escalation.”

*Opinium online survey conducted with 500 people, who travel for business at least once a year in the UK, from 1 – 8 February 2024.

About The Author


WORKSMARTPA – NEW IDEAS, NEW FRONTIERS The year 2021 sees our business celebrate 21 years of - a community supporting office professionals since our very first newsletter way back in May 2000. As we look forward to greet a new world of change beyond the pandemic, we are extremely excited to announce a new brand; a new look; and some new directions for our much loved, long-standing web site and communities to explore. It is time for change. To better reflect now what we do best for you, we have a new brand, web site and activities – a new name and web site that will be full of new ideas for a new business age and new working trends as we all seek to grow, expand and explore new frontiers.

Newsletter Sign up

Entertain Spotlight

Events Spotlight

Services Spotlight

Travel Spotlight

Featured Recruitment