> Canadians believe their job security is dependent on business travel; concerned of threats

Canadians believe their job security is dependent on business travel; concerned of threats

New research from SAP Concur, the integrated travel, expense, and invoice management specialist, has revealed the most pressing challenges facing Canadian business travellers today.

Serving as an annual touchpoint to assess the realities of the business travel landscape, the regional findings from a global survey by Wakefield Research, has uncovered how factors including economic inflation, job security, and safety concerns are impacting corporate travel.

Even as the logistics of business travel become increasingly subject to economic volatility, almost all (94%) surveyed Canadian travellers said the future of their career depends on successful business travel in the coming year.

For nearly half of Canadian business travellers, travel is critical for keeping up on the latest trends, technology and advancements (48%) and establishing relationships with new clients (47%).

Business travel retains ‘undeniable significance’ for Canadians…

These findings “reinforce the undeniable significance of business travel” for Canadian professionals, highlighting its pivotal role in career advancement and maintaining a competitive edge in today’s dynamic market, notes SAP Concur.

… but almost all recognise travel threats

Almost all the Canadian business travel respondents (96%) in the survey recognised there are threats to their company’s business travel. More than two in five (44%) viewed inflation as among the biggest threats to business travel today, while one in three (33%) expressed the same concern regarding cuts to travel budgets or travel freezes.

Uncertain economy already affecting Canadian business travel

For a high majority (91%) of Canadian business travellers, the uncertain economy is already affecting their company’s business travel, with the most common impact being reduced travel budgets (47%).

The survey also illustrates that many Canadian business travellers have also seen policy changes that impact the comfort and pleasure of their travel, including requiring travellers to stay in lower quality accommodations and/or less safe areas (28%) or emphasising lower airfares despite layovers, indirect routes or alternative airports (28%).

Canadian business travellers are experiencing danger on the road

Staying healthy and safe while traveling for business isn’t just a top concern for Canadian travellers; threats to this can be a dealbreaker, notes SAP Concur from the survey findings.

The most commonly viewed threat to business travel today is health and safety concerns (51%). Unfortunately, travellers’ fears appear well-founded – over a quarter of Canadian business travellers (27%) said they have experienced a situation on a business trip where they felt they were in immediate danger.

Canadian business travellers want companies to allow ‘out of policy’ choices

The vast majority of Canadian business travellers at companies with a corporate travel policy (90%) expect their company to allow them to make travel choices that are outside of that policy for reasons like safety, work-life balance and sustainability.

Nearly half expect their employer to allow them to book travel that falls outside of company policy to ensure they feel safe while traveling in certain areas of the world (49%).

Unequal business travel opportunities concern some Canadians

A significant disparity exists in the Canadian business travel landscape, with an alarming two-thirds (67%) of business travellers facing unequal opportunities, especially because of their ethnicity or race (22%, compared to 15% globally), their age (21%), their accent (16%), and their gender (16%). These findings underscore the pressing need to address systemic biases and create a more inclusive and equitable environment for Canadian business travellers.

Travel concerns appear as Canada’s hotel ADR and RevPAR reach all-time high

Canada’s hotel industry reported its highest average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) on record, according to Jun-2023 data from CoStar, a provider of online real estate marketplaces, information and analytics in the property markets.

In addition to the monthly ADR of CAD221.86 (+12.0%) and RevPAR of CAD164.97 (+16.1%) versus Jun-2022, Canada’s occupancy level of 74.4% was its highest since Aug-2022 and up +3.6% on Jun-2022.

Among the provinces and territories, Newfoundland and Labrador recorded the highest June occupancy level (86.7%), which was 9.0% above 2022. Among the major markets, Vancouver saw the highest occupancy (89.2%), which was 6.8% ahead of June 2022.

The lowest occupancy among provinces was reported in Saskatchewan (62.9%), down 0.3% against 2022. At the market level, the lowest occupancy was reported in Edmonton (+8.1% to 58.0%).

Weekly Newsletter

Click Subscribe if you'd like to receive the latest corporate travel news and analysis.

Latest Analysis