Survey: Business travel jumps 46% compared to pre-pandemic

Despite rocky economic conditions and pressures within organizations to cut down on travel costs, business travel is making an unexpected and robust comeback. According to Capterra’s 2023 Travel Survey, 46% of business travelers report going on more trips than before the pandemic—on average, they travel six times a year, with trips lasting about three days.

Increased travel expenses underscore the importance of accurate reporting, as manual tracking leads to errors and fraud that can cost thousands or even millions of dollars. A staggering 92% of travelers encountered issues with expense reporting, with 90% admitting to making mistakes during the process. While technology adoption is evident with over half of travelers using mobile apps or software, 42% still track receipts manually. Business travelers report numerous, costly mistakes with manual entry, including missing receipts, duplicated expenses and mathematical errors.

“As business travel takes flight again, a concerning number of businesses still rely on outdated methods to record and report travel expenses,” says Max Lillard, senior finance analyst, Capterra. “Nearly all businesses report the need to set tighter travel budgets and implement more accurate expense reporting amidst economic turbulence.”

Even with the rising costs and potential financial errors, travel is necessary for business growth, especially as businesses move to in-person and hybrid models and therefore want more in-person meetings. In fact, more than half of travelers schedule their trips for client meetings (52%), as well as networking conferences (52%), training (50%) and trade shows (31%).

As an added benefit, almost all (93%) business travelers say they merge personal vacation time with work trips which may help boost morale and decrease burnout from frequent traveling. Travelers are largely driven by the need for work-life balance (52%). Employees say they visit historical sights (31%), catch up with friends and family (30%) and attend cultural events (25%) during their off time.