by CIO Staff

Executives and Managers Plan to Travel

Apr 12, 20053 mins
IT Leadership

Business growth and new business along with the importance of face-to-face meetings will be the prime drivers in an increase in business travel compared to the past 12 months. While international business travel expects to remain about the same as in the past year, domestic travel will see a slight increase by senior executives and managers.

Ninety-nine percent of executives and managers plan to travel at least once during the next year, based on a global survey we conducted. While about half of senior executives plan 11 or more trips within the next year, only a quarter of managers plan to do so, though both are slight increases from the amount of travel those same executives and managers say they did the previous 12 months.

Just because management plans to travel more does not necessarily mean all trips will be lengthy.

“Travel is limited to usually one trip outside of the metropolitan area,” said one survey respondent. “All other travel is within a 50-mile radius. I eliminate out-of-state travel for the office rather than eliminate a half-time position.”

Almost three-quarters of those who plan to travel more in the future cited business growth/new business as the top reason. Half said they would travel more because of the importance of face-to-face meetings.

“I find that in-person meetings are infinitely more productive and beneficial than any other variety,” said one respondent. The business itself is clearly driving travel, as more than 80 percent of executives and managers did not cite personal choice as a reason to get back on the road.

For those who plan to travel less, the number one reason cited was cost, though some take advantage of deals and others see the value of in-person meetings as outweighing the cost.

“Although not traveling materially more next year, my team will likely travel more due to substantially lower airfare costs, especially for last-minute air travel,” said one respondent.

Said another: “Travel is not as pleasant as it used to be and eats a lot of time, especially with the veritable hustle before to get things done and the catch-up routines afterward. Plus, it takes away from home life. In our small business, we are traveling a bit more, but analyzing every trip more, too. Face-to-face time is still vital.”

“In spite of tight budgets and a generally poor economy, we feel we must make and maintain contacts,” said another.

Smart businesses understand that to remain competitive and properly develop new business while growing their current business, management will have to spend an appropriate amount of time in their respective marketplaces.

The trick is always to balance the cost, both financially and on the individuals, against the actual value gained. As one survey respondent commented: “Hate it, but gotta do it.”