Business travel has been gradually recovering after the pandemic. Train travel preference has increased with regulations and legal adjustments encouraging companies to adopt more ethical practices.
The latest Qonto study indicates that train tickets accounted for 60% of business trip bookings in France since the beginning of 2023. Business travel sets the standard for other sectors to follow regarding responsible travel.
In today's world, companies are under pressure from their employees, customers, and the law to adopt a responsible approach, even regarding their employees' business travel.
To begin with, it is vital to avoid unnecessary trips altogether. The most cost-effective and eco-friendly trip is the one that doesn't happen. Not only does this save money, but it also helps reduce carbon emissions.
When travel is necessary, choosing the most environmentally-friendly options is essential. For example, why not take the train to meet halfway instead of flying to a meeting? This can significantly reduce the journey's carbon footprint.
According to the Qonto study, SMEs and self-employed individuals have seen a 12% increase in fuel expenses. However, the study predicts that this trend will stabilize by the end of 2023. The study analyzed data from 350,000 SMEs with up to 250 employees and freelancers in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain. The study also found that business travel via train and virtual cards has become popular among these groups.
Train travel is becoming more popular in Europe, with an increase in train reservations. In France, 60% of bookings for business trips are for train tickets. Additionally, the bank has observed a significant increase in the digitization of transactions, even in traditionally non-digital industries. The transport and logistics sector, in particular, has shown a strong adoption of virtual cards. This is due to a 190% increase in usage during the 1st quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year.
Finally, online payments have seen a much faster growth rate than offline payments during this period, with volumes increasing eight times as quickly.