Business Travelers Change the Way They Travel

July 16, 2008 ( - A lagging economy and spiraling travel costs apparently haven't kept business travelers at home, but have changed the way they fly the friendly skies on business.

That was a key takeaway from a new survey byOrbitz for Businessand Business Traveler Magazine, which found that six in 10 of those polled are on the road as much if not more in 2008 as they were last year. However,their time on the road is undeniably different in the current economic reality. Some 79% of those surveyed said they are under pressure to trim travel costs so they have started opting for less expensive hotels.

Other travel changes to save money cited by respondents include:

  • 41% are tightening their travel policies and implementing more restrictions on travelers for hotels and dining.
  • Nearly half (47%) of those surveyed indicate changes to their company’s rental car policy, including requiring employees to rent the smallest/least expensive car available (38%) and return vehicles with a full tank of gas to avoid costly surcharges (20%).
  • 42% are exploring alternatives to travel, including video/web conferencing.
  • Almost half (44%) report that they, or their company, are planning to attend fewer trade shows this year, or will simply send fewer employees to those events.
  • Twenty-five percent of respondents say that when possible, they are now flying in and out of a business destination the same day more often, rather than spend a night in a hotel.
  • One area where many companies are cutting back is international travel. Thirty-three percent of those surveyed say their companies are currently doing less international travel as a way to save.
  • Ofthose who do travel internationally, 56% say they are allowed to fly business class for long-haul flights. Of the 44% who are not, 10% say their company policy has changed in the past year.

The Orbitz for Business/Business Traveler Magazine Trend Report was conducted online from May 15, 2008 through May 23, 2008, through a MarketTools survey of 610 Business Traveler Magazine subscribers.