New research from American Express has found that globalisation has brought about a significant shift in attitudes to business travel.

The vast majority (80%) of UK business travellers surveyed say business travel has helped broaden their world view. Furthermore, nine out of ten business travellers in the UK say they enjoy business travel, with 71% saying that travel makes their job more interesting.

Meanwhile, business travel has joined the ranks of fringe benefits identified as most important when considering a new position. Respondents cited joining the company pension scheme (86%), health and life insurance (70%) and flexible working (86%) as important benefits when considering a new role, with business travel (61%) coming in just above the most traditional of company perks; the company car allowance (59%).

The global survey of regular business travellers, conducted by YouGov for American Express, also shows that travel is critical to helping companies achieve their growth potential, with three quarters (76%) of professional respondents believing that face-to-face meetings are essential in achieving their company objectives.

In an era of increased cost cutting, travel budgets are often the first area of discretionary spend to be cut, but more than half (54%) of UK business travellers surveyed said reducing business travel would give competitors an advantage, and almost a quarter (22%) believed revenue would decrease by 50% or more if they had to stop face-to-face meetings.

With the UK business travellers surveyed undertaking 11 trips a year on average, with six in the UK and five overseas, the research also highlights the importance of professionals looking after their health and wellbeing while on the move, which in turn will ensure business trips are as productive as possible.

When asked to choose the top three factors most detrimental to their wellbeing when travelling, UK professionals chose: not getting enough sleep (56%); fatigue as a result of being busy or extended working days (50%); not exercising as much (34%); eating too much/differently (34%); and drinking more alcohol than usual (21%).

To overcome this, the regular business travellers in the research identified how they balance the demands of work travel by building relaxation time into their trips to boost their wellbeing. More than half (54%) of travellers said sightseeing or participating in local experiences in their free time was one of the top three ways to positively impact their wellbeing. Just over a third (34%) aim to arrive a little earlier so that they’re fresh for meetings. Making good use of hotel facilities is also popular, with a quarter (25%) of UK respondents citing the use of the hotel spa or relaxation facility, or one nearby, as a great way to unwind. And one in five (20%) said using the hotel gym had a positive impact on their wellbeing.

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