Business Travel

Timeline: January 2015 – July 2016

Our team includes: Jillian Anable, James Faulconbridge, Greg Marsden, Ian Jones

Some of our key questions include:

  • Business travel accounts for 20% of journeys over 50 km, and for 25% of domestic and international flights, but what are these trips for?
  • How do needs for co-presence relate to trends in organisational and economic practice such as outsourcing, knowledge production, conferences and training, recruiting, demonstrating and selling?
  • Which occupations are the most travel-intensive and why?

And these are some of the ideas we are engaging with:

James Faulconbridge notes that while much research has been done on business travel, there is still more to learn about the evolving demand for business travel:

Data sources including the National Travel Survey, International Passenger Survey, CAA, National Rail Passenger Survey (Passenger Focus), CAA Departing Passenger Surveys, selected company accounts and data from business travel providers will be used to categorise and analyse end use practices and establish which occupations and professions are currently engaging in travel-intensive practices, and how and why this has come to be so. In detail we need to know how working practices vary in terms of the numbers of people who consequently travel and meet, how such patterns change, and where the potential for reducing the need to travel, or for substituting ‘real’ meetings with other forms of communication lies. Qualitative research with a sample of 60 employers, will identify exactly which practices underpin the ‘need’ to travel (to which destinations, how often, etc.), and help explain how this has come to be the case.  The sample design will be informed by the quantitative work and will include public and private sector organisations that account for disproportionate amounts of business travel (e.g. multi-nationals), or that have adopted new forms of e-mobility (e.g. publishing).

For more detailed information about how the project fits into the Demand Research Programme you can read the 13-page DEMAND research summary.