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Executives crave the return of business travel & its perks

Australian executives want more corporate travel: New research reveals why & the personal Knock-on benefits they crave

The corporate travel industry has enjoyed a promising recovery over the past year, with businesses returning to travel in droves to build relationships with their stakeholders, and foster team building and collaboration.

New research has revealed the knock-on benefits business travellers are gaining through their travel.

Networking, meeting new people, time away from the office and career advancement emerged as the top perks.

A travel expert suggests these benefits will lead to an increase in business owners and their executives seeking more travel this year.

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The findings were derived from a survey of an independent panel of 255 SME owners and decision-makers who travel for work, including internationally. The survey was commissioned by Corporate Traveller, Australia’s leading travel management company for SMEs and a division of Flight Centre. 

Survey respondents were presented with a list of 10 personal benefits they may gain from their business travel and could select more than one. Three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents indicated they gained some personal benefits from their corporate travel. 

The benefits business travellers identified included:

  1. Frequent flyer point accumulation
  2. Trying new hotels
  3. Trying new dining experiences
  4. Experiencing new destinations, including sightseeing/visiting attractions
  5. Taking time away from the office
  6. Taking time away from home
  7. Networking opportunities and meeting new people
  8. Having social media content
  9. Connecting with work colleagues
  10. Career advancement.

Networking opportunities and meeting new people topped the list of benefits Aussies are gaining from their corporate travel, with 37 percent of respondents choosing this perk. Time spent outside the office followed closely behind, chosen by 36 percent of respondents, then career advancement and connecting with colleagues (each chosen by 33 percent of respondents). 

Tom Walley, Australian-based Global Managing Director at Corporate Traveller said: “Some companies have shifted to permanent remote and hybrid working arrangements.

“It’s evident from our results, however, that many executives are craving the personal connection and networking opportunities business travel can offer. Fortunately, face-to-face events and conferences have returned quickly, offering ample opportunities for individuals to forge connections.”

Tom Walley is the Global Managing Director at Corporate Traveller Australia

Other benefits that ranked highly for business travellers included trying new hotels (chosen by 32 percent of respondents); experiencing new destinations (28 percent); frequent flyer point accumulation (by 27 per ent); and trying new dining experiences and taking time away from home (an equal 26 percent).

“Frequent flyer points accumulated through business travel can offer a multitude of benefits that corporate travellers can use in their personal lives. Accumulated points can offset the cost of personal holidays, encourage upgrades on personal flights, and can be used as currency with a huge variety of popular retailers including Apple, Bing Lee, and eBay. Accruing such points at no personal cost through work allows business travellers to experience luxuries at a lower cost.”

Since October 2021, Qantas committed 50 percent or more of their international flight seats to reward seats. Recently, the airline extended its commitment for another six months until December 31 2023.

Tom said: “It’s a fantastic time for business travellers who are accumulating a multitude of points to take international holidays using their frequent flyer rewards.”

On a smaller scale, seven per cent of business travellers specified that social media content was a top benefit they enjoy when travelling, while 11 per cent indicated they experience other personal benefits that weren’t listed in the survey.

Business travellers based in Victoria appeared to value the time away from the office that business travel provides, with nearly half (49 per cent) indicating this. This compares with 35 percent of NSW business travellers, 32 per cent of West Australians, 29 per cent of South Australians and 24 percent of Queenslanders.

Older corporate travellers were more likely to value connecting with work colleagues on business trips, by a small margin, with 36 percent of those over-55s selecting this benefit. This was followed by 35 percent of 35-54-year-olds and 29 percent of under-35s.

Tom said: “There are a plethora of benefits to be gained from business travel.

“It appears networking and communicating with new people and teams and taking advantage of the new scenery away from the monotony of the office are particularly salient benefits for many travellers.

“With this in mind, businesses could consider increasing their travel this year, with a particular focus on attending events and connecting and communicating with overseas teams. These changes could help keep staff motivated and engaged.”

What do business travellers personally get most out of travelling for business?

% of respondents 


Frequent flyer point accumulation 


Trying new hotels 


Trying new dining experiences 


Experiencing new destinations, including sightseeing/visiting attractions 


Taking time away from the office 


Taking time away from home 


Networking opportunities & meeting new people 


Having social media content 


Connecting with work colleagues 


Advancing my career 


Other personal benefits 


None of the above 


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