March 17, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

New research amongst small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) has found the top reason for travel is to attend conferences.

Flight Centre Travel Group’s specialist SME business, Corporate Traveller surveyed 535 Australian businesses – most of which are SMEs – and found that 68 per cent of these businesses travel to attend conferences in-person, with 54 per cent travelling for sales or training and 44 per cent travelling for board or executive meetings. Thirty six per cent travel for internal meetings.

“After prolonged periods of restrictions, and as we come out of two years of remote working and virtual meetings, face-to-face communication will be an important part of the recovery and growth of the business sector,” said Tom Walley, Corporate Traveller’s global managing director.

“An increasing proportion of businesses will gradually resume domestic, then international, travel for meetings and events. Corporate Traveller has seen a significant increase in domestic travel bookings in 2022, and we’re seeing a similar pattern now Australia is open for business once again.

“The anticipated business appetite for events and conferences will give the events industry (who are SMEs themselves) the confidence it needs to recover, make networking possible again for businesses, boost business travel further and help economic growth.

“Business travel leads to significant incidental spending on accommodation, transport, and hospitality,” said Walley.