New York, May 20, 2021 – The new Back to Blue Skies report from American Express (NYSE: AXP) and American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) released today finds that business travel is an important driver in building in-person connections, a company’s culture, career development, and can lead to increased profit and revenue. Corporate travelers and decision makers at U.S. businesses of all sizes and across a variety of industries participated in the survey, which highlights the sentiment around the benefits of business travel.
“Over the last year, we’ve heard from our clients, which range from small and mid-sized businesses to large and global corporations, that in-person connections cannot be replicated,” said Gunther Bright, EVP, Global Commercial Services, American Express. “Our Back to Blue Skies report affirms this sentiment, suggesting that while some meetings are easily done virtually, others are much more valuable when they take place face-to-face. We expect many organizations will take a hybrid approach to doing business in the future, and we’ll continue to work to meet their needs as they return to business travel.”
“Decision makers are ready to get their employees back to blue skies safely and are optimistic that while business travel patterns might shift with a more dispersed workforce, volumes will return,” said David Reimer, EVP, Global Clients and General Manager, American Express Global Business Travel. “As we’ve heard from clients and this survey confirmed, many corporate decision makers are looking for support on how they should evolve travel policies to drive employee confidence to get back to traveling for work.”
Key insights from the report include:
Here’s a look at additional key findings from the Back to Blue Skies report:
The Power of In-Person Connections
The U.S. workforce is yearning for in-person business connections after an extended period of remote work and monotony.
Business Travel Builds Company Culture and Careers
People are feeling the absence of business travel, as it plays a valuable role in a company’s culture and ability to provide career development opportunities.
What’s Ahead for Business Travel
The return of business travel is on the horizon, with many saying it will likely look different when it returns. There is a desire to restructure and rebuild policies around what business travel will look like. Many decision makers (73%) are seeking guidance in revising their organization’s existing business travel policies to ensure employee safety, and 78% say their organization’s business travel policies will be different than they were pre-pandemic. As business travel returns, it’s encouraging to see that more than half of decision markers (56%) and half of business travelers (53%) believe it is important for their organization to prioritize travel companies that invest in sustainability.
American Express Global Business Travel was formerly a division of American Express; in 2014 American Express established a joint venture comprising the former Global Business Travel operations, in which American Express continues to have an ownership stake.
American Express and GBT Back to Blue Skies Survey Methodology
Findings are based on results of two online surveys conducted among n=1,032 US business travelers, defined as full- or part-time employees who have traveled at least four times a year prior to the Covid-19 pandemic/March 2020 and n=504 US travel decision-makers, defined as part- or full-time employees who approve and/or disallow business travel within their company. For each audience, a maximum of 25% of respondents work for an organization of less than 50 employees while the other 75% of audiences work for organizations with 51 or more employees. The survey was conducted by third-party vendor Savanta on behalf of American Express and GBT and completed between April 7-19, 2021. The margin of error (MOE) for the total sample of business travelers at the 95% confidence level is +/- 3 percentage points and +/- 4 percentage points for travel decision-makers, respectively.
About American Express
American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress. Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, Kabbage, corporate card, business travel, and corporate responsibility.
About American Express Global Business Travel
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is the world’s leading business partner for managed travel. We help companies and their employees prosper by making sure travelers are present where and when it matters. We keep global business moving with the powerful backing of travel professionals in more than 140 countries. Companies of all sizes, and in all places, rely on GBT to provide travel management services, organize meetings and events, and deliver business travel consulting.
AMERICAN EXPRESS GLOBAL BUSINESS TRAVEL
Source: American Express