Canadian 2016 Biz Travel Spend Expected To Drop 2.6%
The Association of Corporate Travel Executives is predicting a 2.6% decline in Canadian business travel spend for 2016.
The figure was determined through the 9th annual benchmarking survey conducted by ACTE and The Conference Board of Canada. 57 respondents, directing a combined travel volume in excess of $700 million, were interviewed for this survey.
While an uptick in business travel spending was predicted by a slight majority of companies (39%), a near equal number of firms (34%) cited travel program cutbacks.
Even with more than 1/4 of responding companies (27%) indicating “no change” in their budgets, the overall Canadian business travel spend for 2016 is predicted to decrease.
“There is a general air of pessimism permeating the business atmosphere this year, and travel managers are being cautious,” said Monica Hailstone, ACTE’s Canada-based regional director for the Americas. “The collapse of oil prices and a weak Canadian dollar are regarded by 68% of respondents as having a negative impact on business travel.”
Other causes cited for decreases in travel spending include budget restrictions and leadership mandate (63%), the use of travel alternatives (47%), and fewer travellers (37%).This last statistic represents thousands of oil industry employees who have been furloughed or put on restricted travel.
ACTE says that some reductions in travel spending reflect greater efficiencies in accomplishing corporate objectives. These include improved policy compliance, savings based on new technologies (online booking tools and expense management systems) and a decrease in trip duration.
This survey also delved into significant social changes. A growing number of companies are now accommodating the shared economy. Ground transportation alternatives are reimbursed by 50% of responding companies, while car sharing is supported by 38% and shared accommodation services are allowed by 21%.
This level of acceptance marks a dramatic change from just a few years ago, ACTE says. Still, 41% of respondents do not see any immediate policy compliance changes regarding mobile technology nor the shared economy.