Do you track total trip cost?

Coming out of a sustained period with little or no travel, companies are now closely reviewing the value of sending employees on business trips. Measuring total trip cost can help employers make informed decisions and better define their business travel strategies. This past fall, BCD Travel’s Research & Innovation team asked 106 buyers if they tracked total trip cost (TTC) in business travel. More than half said they don’t currently track TTC but would like to do so in the future.

What is total trip cost?

Natalia Tretyakevich Senior Manager Research Intelligence BCD Travel

Total trip cost (TTC) can be tricky to define and quantify. It involves calculating direct, indirect, and intangible or hidden travel costs, including the effect on travelers. Generally, TTC involves:

  • Direct travel costs, e.g., payments to travel suppliers, meals, roaming charges and other incidentals
  • Work-related costs, e.g., conference tickets, business meeting costs
  •  Indirect travel costs, e.g., management fees and taxes, costs of reimbursement
  •  Costs related to sustainability, e.g., carbon emissions offsets
  •  Other hidden costs, e.g., time spent traveling, decreased productivity, pressure for health, etc.

Ninety-four percent (94%) of respondents track direct travel costs, e.g., payments to travel suppliers, meals, roaming charges and other incidentals. Apart from these costs, four in 10 track work-related and indirect travel costs. Few respondents measure sustainability and other hidden costs. Among those surveyed, a quarter track Total Trip Cost as a key performance indicator. Those who do track the KPI have different ways of doing so.

“Total trip cost has always been important, but many travel teams struggle with its calculation,” said Natalia Tretyakevich, Senior Manager, Research & Intelligence at BCD Travel. “TTC will keep being a relevant KPI but only if measured correctly. We see positive signs: more travel buyers acknowledge its importance and have started tracking TTC. In addition to keeping an eye on the most straightforward direct travel costs, they increasingly include other indicators, such as sustainability, in the equation.”

Ask your program manager how you can track and use this KPI for your program. Not a BCD client? Contact us. 

The last two years have also been a time for reflection, leading to a refocus on new priorities for the future. What does this refocus mean for travel?

We’ve identified a short list of trends which we think will come to resonate with both travel managers and travelers during 2022.

New on

Stay in the know,
even on the go

Never want to miss a thing?

We'll get you the latest news, trends, insights and BCD news right in your inbox.