Most Indian businesses to increase travel budget in 2023: AmEx-Cebr study

March 16, 2023 09:32 pm | Updated 09:32 pm IST - Bengaluru

With business travel across domestic and international markets showing a rebound post-pandemic, some 77% of Indian businesses expect to increase their travel budget in 2023 compared with 2022, a survey commissioned by American Express India with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) said on Thursday.

Manish Kapoor, VP and Head, Global Commercial Services (GCS), American Express Banking Corp., India said, “The sentiment is upbeat for corporate travel in India. While the past two years resulted in a temporary decline in business travel, domestic travel has resumed, and almost surpassed pre-pandemic level.”

International travel was also picking up and was expected to witness a sustained recovery. With increased average ticket prices expected to remain high in the medium term, Indian companies would be exploring technologies and should adopt smarter solutions for better cost efficiencies, he further said. Some 53% of businesses surveyed said just over half of their employees had taken an international or domestic work trip in the second half of 2022.   Government/public sector employees followed by marketing, sales, real estate, professional services, and pharmaceuticals firms, led these trips. Some 64% of government or public sector employees took international or domestic trips for work. The report also indicated that 79% of Indian businesses surveyed used business travel data analytics to assist with travel booking and expenditure, showing how important technology has become for the travel sector. As with the broader technology sector, the travel technology sector was constantly innovating. In the post-pandemic period, 43% of financial decision-makers surveyed said that the use of better software to manage expenses and travel is a key innovation. In terms of the practical methods used to pay for travel expenses, the most common way, used by two-thirds of companies (66%), was that the business has company accounts with third-party booking systems. However, most businesses reported using multiple methods, with 61% saying they let employees pay expenses, and 57% saying they provide employees with access to a company credit card. Mumbai was the most visited city for domestic business trips (50% of respondents), while internationally, the United States (44% of respondents) emerged as the most popular destination.

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