Accenture: Business Travel Growth Expected

Compiled By Jill Jusko It may sound surprising given worldwide health scares, the dismal state of global economies and geopolitical tensions, but business travel is showing signs of growth in the United States. So states management-consulting firm Accenture, which in May conducted an online survey on more than 1,600 U.S. businesses. Some four out of five respondents, or 81%, say they expect their business travel to remain the same or increase during the next six months. Of external business factors impacting their business travel plans in the next six months, 47% cited the economy, 16% said geopolitical issues and 15% said health issues, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Price also remains a major concern for business travelers. For instance:

  • Some 60% of survey respondents have used low-cost carriers for business trips in the last six months, and 94% of that group expect their use of such carriers will remain the same or increase.
  • Just 37% of respondents said their companies place no restrictions on business travel. The most frequently cited restriction: 23% cited restrictions on airline or hotel choice in favor of preferred or low-cost options.
  • Just 5% of respondents said they expect to stay in luxury hotels or boutique hotels in their business travel.
Despite an emphasis on price, it isn't the only factor business travelers consider. For example, some 44% of respondents said Internet access is a "must have" in their choice of business accommodations.
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