Cecilia Garland - Oct 27, 2014
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70 percent of German business travelers think that sustainability is one of the most important aspects of their booking. 84 percent think that the protection of the environment will become even more important in the following years. Until then however, efficiency still remains the top priority for business travel.

These are the results of the study “Chefsache Business Travel 2014″ conducted by Travel Management Companies on behalf of the German Travel Association (DRV). According to these results, risk management and work-life balance are equally important trending topics.

In the DRV-study 110 managers who regularly go on business trips and 110 travelling employees from larger companies with at least 250 staff members were asked about the topic of business travel.

The participants were first asked to rank several individual aspects of business travel according to their importance today. Afterwards, they had to estimate if these aspects would become even more relevant or irrelevant in years to come. The aspect with the most points in this study was “Efficiency during the planning and execution of a business trip”: 97 percent deemed this important for today and 93 percent estimated that this would become even more important in the future.

“This is where demands and reality often diverge”, said Stefan Vorndran, chairman of the committee for Business Travel in the DRV. “Most companies still let their staff organize business trip themselves instead of letting experts do the work. This substantially raises indirect costs.”

The topic with the biggest jump in importance, according to business travelers, will be environment protection and sustainability. Seven out of ten participants believe this is important today, but 84 percent think that companies need to pay more attention to the sustainability of future business travels.

There is a smaller difference at “meaningful connection between personal life and business life” on business trips, meaning work-life-balance. 73 percent think this is important right now, 80 percent believe this will be even more relevant in the future. “This confirms the shift of values that has been observed with Generation Y”, said Stefan Vorndran. “Younger workers prefer a demanding job, but also need an equivalent offset.”

Risk management is another trending topic for business travel. Today, already 83 percent think that workers need to be specifically informed about travelling risks, such as risks in crisis-hit countries. 88 percent believe that this is only getting more important with time, which seems plausible looking at the conflicts in Ukraine, Kenya, and Nigeria.

Managing directors, who want to make their travel management more professional and set binding standards for sustainable travel, can work with travel agencies to get the best possible results. Their specialists make sure that trips are efficient, employees are thoroughly informed and don’t lose any time. This not only provides a competitive edge but also raises traveler satisfaction.

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