6th Annual Global Travel Managers Research Report

woman in office holding laptop

Nearly all travel managers (99%) anticipate a challenging year ahead and emphasize the need for enhanced training and tools, especially as they are asked to take on more strategic roles. The latest SAP Concur research surveyed 600 travel managers across 6 global markets, revealing an uncertain future for travel management unless companies improve support for these critical roles.

Key findings reveal:

  • 33% of travel managers have been asked to adopt more strategic roles without receiving additional training or education.
  • 37% find it challenging to maintain high-quality travel programs under heightened stress.
  • And over 41% are likely to seek new opportunities within the next 12 months.

Managing Competing Expectations

Business travellers increasingly prioritize flexibility, often diverging from company policies to prioritize their safety, work-life balance, or alignment with social, political, and environmental values. While 36% of travel managers struggle to reconcile these expectations with company demands for cost-cutting measures.

Happy Travelers are Better for Business

Companies that prioritize traveller needs are more likely to retain their travel managers. Among those planning to stay, 41% report their employer prioritizes flexible travel options for employees over cost-cutting or sustainable travel measures. In contrast, fewer travel managers intending to stay (30%) or those less satisfied with their current roles (29%) cite sustainability or budget cuts as their company's primary focus.

Looking Ahead

Without overdue changes to support travel managers and ensure their appreciation, many may seek opportunities with more responsive employers or explore new careers in the next 12 months. To retain talent, companies must offer realistic options and upgraded tools that empower travel managers to meet the increasing demands of their roles.

To learn more, download the full report.