Travel Buyer Survey: Travel Policy

This survey explores modern corporate travel policies and looks at the policy changes happening under the influence of travel buyers’ shifting priorities and the new trends shaping business travel.

The results are based on an online survey of 211 travel buyers conducted from April 3-17, 2024.

Table of contents

Respondent profile

Respondent profile


Travel program priorities

Travel program priorities

Travel policy

95% of travel buyers say their company has a published travel policy, which is often combined with expense regulations.

Availability of travel policy

Travel policy overview

While most policies are cost-focused, few are based on KPIs and traveler feedback.

Travel policy length

Over three-quarters of travel policies are under 20 pages long.

Travel Policy

Travel policy themes

Around two-thirds of policies include trip purpose and pre-trip approval, followed by virtual meetings and traveler wellbeing.

Traveler parameters

Companies may have dedicated travel policies for senior employees, teams from specific business units and frequent travelers.


In addition to travel management, Finance, HR and Procurement are typically involved in creating and updating travel policy.

Travel policy priorities

Educating travelers is the top priority of travel buyers when it comes to managing travel policies: Over half agree.

Travel policy challenges

Among the top-three challenges, buyers mention traveler education, working with policy exceptions and managing travel policy across regions.

Regional challenges

Local laws and regulations prove to be a major complexity when it comes to managing policies across regions.

Regional challenges
Regional challenges - Local laws and regulations

Impact of policy on talent

According to three out of 10 travel buyers, travel policy has a positive impact on attracting and retaining talent.

Impact of policy on talent
Impact of policy


Effectiveness of travel policy

Two-thirds of travel buyers consider their travel policy to be extremely or very effective.

Enforcing travel policy

Most employers enforce travel policy applying rules in online booking tools, improving traveler communication or managing travel expenses. Rewarding compliant behavior isn’t common.

Mandated policy elements

Among the travel policy elements, air class is mandated most frequently: Nine in 10 travel buyers say so. Over half mandate use of corporate cards, car rental class and meal allowance.

Business class

Business class rules

Most travel policies factor in flight duration when defining the rules around traveling business class. On average, business class is allowed on flights over seven hours long.

Prohibited travel suppliers

In-policy air ancillaries

Travel policies rarely include airline priority boarding,
lounge access or class upgrades.

In-policy hotel ancillaries

Among in-policy hotel ancillaries, Wi-Fi charges are covered most often, while room upgrades aren’t included.

In-policy hotel ancillaries
In-policy hotel ancillaries

Cost-control measures

Six in 10 travel buyers say their company reduced its travel budget in the past few years, and 96% introduced cost-control policies, most popular aiming to reduce the travel volume.

Cost-control measures
Recent travel budget reduction


Frequency of policy updates

Over half of buyers revise travel policy every couple of years or more often, while three in 10 do this when needed.

Frequency of policy updates

Last policy update

Two-thirds of travel buyers have recently revised their policy.

Communication channels

Intranet is the primary instrument for communicating policy updates to company employees: Three-quarters use this method, followed by half using email.

Communication channels

The effectiveness of communication

Buyers’ views are split over the effectiveness of travel policy communication.

Trends shaping travel policy

Sustainability and duty of care are expected to keep shaping travel policies in the near future.

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