Canadian Businesses Still Value Face-to-Face

Canadians Believe Business Travel is a Vital Part of Doing Business

TORONTO, Aug. 9, 2016 /CNW/ - Canadian travellers believe business travel is important for company financial performance and are satisfied with their overall business travel experiences, according to the GBTA Global Business Traveller Sentiment Index™, in partnership with American Express.

The research, which includes a survey of 420 Canadian business travellers, examines satisfaction with, and the resources available for, various aspects of business travel and analyzes the increasing use of technological innovation.

Two-thirds (67%) of Canadian business travellers believe their management considers business travel to be very important for their company's financial performance. However, Canadian business travellers surveyed have taken an average of 8.95 business trips in the last year, a significant drop from the previous year (13.36).

"It's clear that Canadians view business travel as essential to their overall performance, " says Paul Parisi, Vice President & General Manager, Global Commercial Payments, American Express Canada. "But with increasing costs of doing business, companies should make sure they have a solid business travel policy in place to manage spending and ensure they are getting the most value out of their business travel."

Technology Doesn't Trump Face-to-Face

Four-in-five (81%) Canadian business travellers are satisfied with their overall business travel experience, which is above the average satisfaction rate of those surveyed around the globe (73%), and the majority meet their business goals when travelling (81%). In fact, most (68%) believe technology can never replace meeting with people face-to-face in order to conduct business.

However, those aged 55+ are more successful (83%) in meeting all their business goals when travelling than their millennial colleagues, aged 18 to 34 (70%). This older age group is also more likely to believe technology won't replace face-to-face meetings (79%) than their younger counterparts (52%).

"Despite how easy it is to connect virtually today, Canadians report face-to-face meetings are of paramount importance," says Parisi. "Technology is advantageous in many ways, but in-person meetings foster strong personal relationships that are difficult to form otherwise."

About one-third of respondents (35%) would like to increase their business travel - and this is especially the case for millennials (52%).

Keeping Connected is Key to Productivity

Almost eight-in-ten Canadian respondents (77%) say Wi-Fi access is crucial to work productivity while travelling and 77% think access to technology enables them to keep up with other work demands while on business trips.

While in the air, almost one-half (48%) prefer not to work, including more women (54%) than men (42%), and among those wanting to do work, there's a common list of hindrances: seat size (67%), lack of power outlet (64%), size of tray table (62%), and lack of USB outlet (55%).

Nancy Tudorache, GBTA Canada Director of Operations, commented: "Many business travellers certainly have scope to make better use of connectivity and technology, but they would also like to see improvements in universal connectivity. Travel managers could respond by exploring ways of meeting these expectations and identifying new means of helping travellers stay productive on the road."

Business Travel Policies are Slow to Accept the Sharing Economy

Using ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, are permitted by one half (51%) of company travel policies, but only a third (34%) permit the use of home-sharing services like Airbnb and Home Away. Millennials think their use of ride-sharing (23%) and home-sharing (25%) services will increase within the next three months, while such thoughts are far less common for those over 55 (5% and 4%, respectively).

When asked about their company's business travel policies, over one-third (38%) report they must follow their company's stated travel policies, while 36% are encouraged to follow general guidelines, and the remaining one-quarter (26%) of companies don't stipulate restrictions.

The GBTA Global Business Traveller Sentiment Index™, in partnership with American Express, was carried out between March 31 and April 13, 2016, by the GBTA Foundation. An online survey was conducted among a sample of 3,500 business travellers in eight markets: Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. In Canada, specifically, 420 business travellers were surveyed.  Eligible respondents were employed part or full-time and had taken four or more business trips in the past 12 months. For more information, please visit

About the GBTA Foundation

The GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world's premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. Collectively, GBTA's 8,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its growing network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts with world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media. The Foundation was established in 1997 to support GBTA's members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the GBTA Foundation seeks to fund initiatives to advance the business travel profession. The GBTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, see and

About American Express Global Commercial Payments

Through its Global Commercial Payments division, American Express offers a suite of payment and lending products that help businesses and organizations of all sizes gain financial savings, control and efficiency. Global Commercial Payments provides solutions for travel and everyday business spending, cross border payments, global currency solutions, and business financing.

To learn more about Global Commercial Payments, visit

About American Express in Canada

American Express in Canada operates as Amex Bank of Canada and Amex Canada Inc. Both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the New York based American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., the largest operating unit of the American Express Company. Amex Bank of Canada is the issuer of American Express charge and credit cards, with outstanding products like The SimplyCash™ Card from American Express ©, The American Express® Gold Rewards Card, and the American Express® AeroplanPlus® Gold Card. American Express opened its first offices in Toronto and Hamilton in 1853. For more information, visit or connect with us at and

SOURCE American Express Canada

For further information: Maggie Dunlop, (437) 836-6051,


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