travel freeze

The great thaw: Melting the ice on business travel freezes

Business travel freezes have become a common topic of conversation lately. Here in New Zealand, businesses might put a pause on travel for various reasons – whether it’s financial constraints, organisational adjustments, or concerns about the general economic situation. 

When the going gets tough financially, travel seems like a smart place to cut back or freeze spending. But like many other things, moderation is key. Business travel often plays a crucial role in pursuing long-term strategies such as forming partnerships, conducting research, or providing training opportunities. 

While we might be a tad bit biased, we've witnessed firsthand the significant benefits it can bring when managed effectively. Skipping out on these business activities in the name of short-term savings has the potential to stifle future growth and innovation. 

Why a business travel freeze can leave you out in the cold 

Implementing a freeze on business travel might initially seem like a savvy move to cut variable costs. However, this approach can backfire when employees are suddenly required to travel for urgent customer or industry demands. Suddenly, that trip becomes a lot more expensive. 

Then what about training and conferences? While they might appear unnecessary at first glance, investing in employee education is crucial for keeping your workforce engaged and up-to-date. Employees are more likely to stay loyal to a company that offers training and educational opportunities. Plus, conferences provide excellent opportunities for spontaneous industry networking. 

Team-building events, whether national or global, enable the exchange of innovative ideas and best practices among different teams. Business travel also plays a significant role in shaping company culture, as there's something about connecting with colleagues in person that strengthens team bonds. 

Research shows that less travel can actually have a negative impact on revenue. In an SAP Concur survey from 2022, 88% of US finance managers reported their company had a revenue loss in 2021 due to reduced travel. And, according to a recent Harvard Business Review report, 84% of survey respondents agree that their organisation realises tangible business value from trips to meet with clients, customers, or prospects in person. 

Keeping up with competitors and the industry can be another reason to prioritise travel. Among travel buyers, “60% of travel buyers expect more travel in the coming year”. 

Warming up to the idea: How to get business travel skeptics on board 

When justifying business travel expenses becomes challenging, presenting data, illustrating expected ROI, and aligning travel with strategic business plans can help make a compelling case for a well-managed travel program. Even during a travel freeze, urgent trips might still happen, which are then more likely to be ad hoc or out of policy (or both!). 

Cutting back on business travel is often suggested in response to rising costs, but there are other ways to tackle this. Developing strong criteria to evaluate and plan travel can help prioritise the right opportunities. 

Long-term planning and traveling during off-periods can also unlock better savings. High last-minute rates on business trips are one area with room for improvement, with “nearly one in three (29 percent) booked two to six days prior”. 

A light in the freezer: Our savings calculator 

When a business travel freeze is being discussed, numbers and costs are essential to making a decision. Don’t have that data? Our Savings Calculator can help you estimate what you can save in time and money by answering only five questions. 

This estimate gives you a realistic prediction of travel costs with an optimised ROI to help you make a case for business travel. You can travel smart, saving time and money! 

Thawing out the business travel freeze 

Reducing business travel can seem like a logical cost-cutting measure, and may be unavoidable. But it’s important to explore alternative solutions through the long-term perspective. Changes to business travel programs should be done with caution and an eye to the long-term benefits and risks. 

Stakeholders often recognise the value in business travel to the company, but struggle with high or unpredictable costs. With Corporate Traveller, our array of tools and industry expertise can guide you toward more efficient travel programs. 

Get bigger savings for your buck 

Corporate travel freeze or not, savings are always welcome. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered! A holistic view of business travel can save you lots, including data-driven strategies and how to get more value. Avoiding several common pitfalls of business travel management can help keep travel budgets on track.  


Need more tips about how to squeeze the most out of business travel? Or uncovering unexpected benefits within your business travel program? Get in touch with us today. We’re here to help you make the most out of your travel budget. 


Ready to see some travel magic? Let’s chat. 

By proceeding, I agree to the website terms of use and to my personal information being handled in accordance with the privacy policy.