Business travel stays strong even with SMEs feeling the pressure of cutting costs

posted by 5 years ago in News

With costs being cut during the past year, over a quarter of SMEs are also watching their travel budgets decline pressuring them to save when booking business trips according to research conducted by Trainline.

Although more than 50% of businesses feel that their business travel budgets haven’t budged over the past year they are still feeling the heat to push back costs on business trips. From those who responded 40% of the 26% who saw their budgets drop expressed that they also felt expected to reduce the occurrence of business trips planned. 37% felt the need to select the cheaper options when booking travel while 21% have been required to shorten the duration of their trip.

Although changes are being made, those who are travelling within their businesses have adjusted by picking the cheaper option for their travels as opposed to reducing their travel overall. Just under two thirds have chosen to travel on Off-Peak trains with 65% saying that ‘cost-saving’ is their main goal. The idea of travelling on Off-Peak trains stems from higher up with the business owners and managers choosing to travel Off-Peak.

Head of SME at Trainline, Ananth Ramanathan comments;

“Face to face meetings are undoubtedly the best way to build relationships and, for this reason, business travel remains as important as ever. Rail continues to prove a popular mode of transport for business travellers because of the convenience and increased productivity time it offers.

Our research shows that SMEs are adapting to budgetary pressure by choosing cheaper options of travel rather than reducing the number of trips they’re having to make. The Trainline for Business SME rail travel dashboard is designed to help small businesses manage their budgets easily so that they can focus on closing the deal rather than fretting about travel costs.”

The regularity of business travel has shown no sign of slowing down with SME business travellers taking on average four trips every month nationally in the UK and 2 trips internationally. In terms of most popular methods of business travelling – travelling by train and travelling by car were ranked the highest.

To add, after the recent announcement from the government that new diesel and petrol cars/vans will be banned by 2040 which is already fearing SMEs with how big of an impact it will have. 37% of those who responded have revealed that the ban may cause them to use other forms of transportation.

Where are they travelling to?

Research highlighted that the location with the most attraction from businesses is London, it found that 58% visited the capital within the last month. Next on the list is Manchester and Birmingham with 36% each visiting there, Leeds and Liverpool follow with 25% each and then Cardiff and Edinburgh with 23%.

How are they booking these trips?

When it comes to booking these business trips, 63% will book their own trips 16% will request their secretary to book, 10% will ask their office managers while 8% ask a colleague to book their trip.

In terms of devices to book the trip the most used is a desktop computer, this is followed by mobiles. Apps are also proving popular with 17% choosing to book via them on their phones.