Travel and Expense

What Are Business Travellers Most Concerned About?

SAP Concur |

Business travellers are increasingly willing to hit the road, but they have some thoughts about how travel is arranged and carried out – and some conditions, too. 

The 2023 SAP Concur Global Business Travellers Report, based on a survey of 3,850 professionals across 25 markets and 32 countries, provides insights into how travel is changing and how companies might respond to accomplish their goals, even amid tight budgets.  

  • 67% are very willing to travel on business this year, up from 55% last year. 
  • 92% think their career depends on successful travel in the next year. 
  • But 91% are willing to turn down a trip if it raises safety concerns or conflicts with their values, including sustainability and work-life balance.  
  • 53% have changed accommodations because of safety concerns, with 23% feeling in immediate danger on a trip. 
  • 86% say economic uncertainty has affected travel at their business. 
What Business Travellers Say About the State of Travel 

Read the 2023 SAP Concur Global Business Travellers Report for additional findings from professionals worldwide about how, when, and if they’re travelling. 

Download here


As the survey demonstrates, flexibility, safety, and sustainability are top of mind for travellers, as is their awareness of the importance of travel to their careers and their companies. Juggling personal and business needs is without a doubt a balancing act, one complicated by the economic volatility of today’s business environment.  


How Important is Travel? 

Even among more hesitant travellers, 98% are willing to travel within the next year. The stakes are shown in the value put on travel. Travellers believe it’s valuable to customer relationships, with 42% saying it helps main relationships with existing clients, and 41% saying it builds ties with new ones. Travel is also key to collaborating with fellow employees, 36% report, and networking with others in their field, as 37% say. It’s not hard to see why, with those numbers, employees are highly attuned to who gets to travel, with over 3 in 5 indicating they haven't always received an equal opportunity for business travel compared to their co-workers.  

No wonder travellers also are concerned about how the economy is affecting their trips. A total of 4 in 10 have seen cuts to travel budgets, while about a third saying their companies are putting them in lower quality accommodations, in less safe areas, or both.  


How Do Sustainability and Other Values Factor In? 

Travellers are willing to hit the road but won’t go unquestioningly – there might be conditions. They recognize the need for travel policies but want the ability to go outside those policies when sustainability, work-life balance, and safety are affected. In fact, 91% at companies with a corporate travel policy expect that right, and almost 3 in 10 would refuse a trip that lacked the flexibility to make adjustments to the trip outside of company policy. Specifically, 89% would willingly take extra steps to make a trip more sustainable, and 48% expect their employers to allow them to break policy to ensure their safety while travelling. Personal values come into play for a number of travelers, with 26% willing to decline a trip to a location whose government or culture they couldn’t support. 


Can Flexibility and Control Co-exist? 

The booking habits of many business travellers – 46% usually book flights, rooms, and car rentals direct with the supplier  – pose a visibility and control challenge for companies. This is particularly true with flight changes or cancellations, where more than half of travellers take the direct approach.  


What Are Travelers Thinking and Doing About Safety? 

Travellers are looking at the world around them – and places they might be sent – and requesting flexibility and gauging risks. In fact, 44% of travelers surveyed see duty of care concerns as the top threat to travel. As noted earlier, just more than half of travelers have shifted accommodations over safety issues – and 28% have done it more than once. The concerns are especially prevalent among LGBTQ+ travellers, with 82% changing accommodations and 32% saying they felt in immediate danger while on a trip. Overall, nearly 3 in 4 business travelers report experiencing negative situations while on a trip. 


Take a Deeper Look at What Business Travellers Say 

Download a copy of the report to discover more survey findings and insights that can provide perspective on how your business compares with others around the world, information that can inform decisions and policies in the times ahead. 

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