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Up in the air
As companies scale back on business travel, Kipp asked readers how often they’re allowed out of the office. Not very, is the answer.
August 30, 2010 1:50 by Samuel Potter
Business travel is in the doldrums, according to the industry. And it’s hardly a surprise: Thanks to the downturn, many previously highly viable organizations – some of them very large – are on shaky ground. In such an environment, one of the prudent steps for these companies is to review and minimize as many expenses as possible. And in this age of internet, email, VoIP, mobile and everything else, one particular expense suddenly appears less justifiable than ever: business travel.
Take Kipp as an example. Our publisher has an office in Beirut, and some of the staff there work for Kipp. Are we forever flitting between the UAE and Lebanon in business class? No we are not, sadly, because we can communicate pretty effectively via other means (VoIP, phone, Email). It’s the same story across thousands of companies in this region and beyond.
According to the travel industry press, “the travel industry has suffered from travel cuts induced by the global financial crisis itself and caused by the decrease in travel demands especially by businessman and regular travelers.” And, unfortunately for the industry, it’s often the bigger companies that do the most traveling, but that also make the biggest cuts.
According to the US-based Business Travel Coalition, an advocacy organization formed to represent the interests of corporate buyers of business travel services, a third of companies have actually halted all their business trips as they seek to cut their travel spending. And one in four firms have established emergency cuts to their overall travel spending in response to the current global financial downturn.
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