Travelodge has revealed that UK companies are wasting over £1.3 billion** every year on unnecessary and extravagant business trips. The research was conducted in partnership with YouGov amongst 800 UK companies. The aim of the research was to explore UK businesses travel polices and investigate how much British companies are wasting in expenditure in annual business trips.
The findings have been alarming, even with today’s high-tech communication tools; face-to-face meetings are a vital part of daily business. 84%of UK employees take 14 million *** overnight domestic business trips each year. It is not so surprising that UK companies have left their employees free to squander up to £1.3 billion of their money every year when:
? Nearly half (48%) of all organisations never set a business trip budget. This figure rises to 59% when relating to small to medium businesses
? Over 40% of employees make their own individual business trip arrangements and claim that they can spend what they like on trips.
? An overwhelming 88% say they aren’t influenced by cost
? Almost a third (30%) of 18-29 year olds exploit business trips as perks
? Only 12% of employees believe their organisations are interested in cost-cutting
Guy Parsons, Travelodge, Sales and Marketing Director, commented: ” The research has been an eye-opener, the UK economy shouldn’t have to take such an unbelievable financial hit. We Brits are cautious with our personal finances and we should apply that same mentality to our spend at work. To survive in the current ever-changing environment, businesses must set smart spend guidelines to tell their employees that booking an outrageously priced 4 or 5 star hotel just isn’t necessary, particularly when all that’s needed is a comfortable bed for the night. Let’s face it; all hotel rooms are the same with the lights off. On top of extortionate 4 and 5 star room rates, £186^ million is wasted on items that are not required or ever used in these hotels”.
UK businesses aren’t helping themselves by not setting budgets and policy guidelines. For example, only one in ten (11%) companies have a policy enforcing the use of budget airlines, despite its widespread reputation today as a cost-effective means of travel. In addition, only 9% of UK employees will buy train tickets sufficiently far in advance to take advantage of APEX and Saver fares.
British businesses have least control when it comes to employee accommodation choices, making it the largest single drain on business travel budgets.
? Over a third (38%) of UK businesses regularly stay in extortionately priced 4 or 5 star hotels
? Only 11% of UK businesses spend less than £50 per night on accommodation
? Just 18% will stay in budget accommodation
According to Guy Parsons, Travelodge Sales & Marketing Director: “The good news is there are plenty of simple ways to reduce business trip costs. We have made it easier for UK companies to save money from today, just visit www.travelodge.co.uk.costcutter for a copy of our cost saving guide. To save money instantly encourage employees to use budget accommodation. Booking budget would certainly address the issue of excessive spending; we calculated that if companies were to book Travelodge’s £26 a night rooms, the saving among UK businesses would well exceed £900 million
Travelodge offers clean, comfortable, centrally located accommodation and there’s no compromise on quality, even though prices start from as little as £26 .”
Other top tips for reducing business travel spend:
? Set realistic travel budgets and policies
? Make travel arrangements well in advance to save money
? Book online where possible to make the most of reduced web-only rates
? Booking quality, centrally located budget accommodation can reduce costs
? Budget travel options should be regularly researched - is it necessary to travel and stay first class?
Federation of Small Businesses
The Federation of Small Businesses is circulating Travelodge’s cost cutting guide among its members. Stephen Alambritis, Chief Spokesman, Federation Small Business, commented, “Business owners understand the importance of face-to-face meetings and consider personal contact with customers an essential part of generating new sales. But well run firms control the cost of business travel, setting budgets for both transport and accommodation. Controlling costs across the business underpins future growth and success.”
Employees know what they want:
Results show that almost a fifth (23%) of employees would prefer to see the money companies can save on business trips going back into their salaries. Just under half (45%) would prefer to see the money going back into the business, emphasising that a few simple changes at a corporate level can positively benefit employees across the business.