Study: Business travel can increase profits

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:32:35 AM

Companies that have cut back on business travel in recent years may want to rethink that plan if they intend to improve their profit margin.

According to a study conducted by Oxford Economics and commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, for every dollar that American companies invest in business travel they receive a $9.50 return in revenue and $2.90 in profits.

The study also found that in-person meetings double the likelihood of a company obtaining new customers, in addition to helping retain existing clients.

"The easiest thing to cut is ... travel and tourism," Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, told USA Today. "Oftentimes they pull salespeople off the road and don't go to a convention. What this report shows is that can be counterproductive."

Companies who still view the need to have a tight travel budget as a necessity may be able to save money by having their road warriors use car rentals instead of booking expensive plane tickets.

They can also use technology like Skype to try and emulate the personal connections salespeople are able to make during face-to-face interactions, although there's no guarantee that it will be as effective as getting out on the road.

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