The fifth annual Global Business Travel Survey by travel and expense management firm SAP Concur has highlighted the critical need for business travel.

A total of 3,850 global business travellers were surveyed in April this year, with 89 per cent asserting that the future of their career is dependent on successful business travel in the coming year.

The survey also found that the appetite for business travel continues to return, with 71 per cent of employees stating they are “very willing to travel for business in the next 12 months”, up from 55 per cent last year.

But the survey also found that over half (58 per cent) of respondents “think they haven’t always had an equal opportunity to take business trips compared to their co-workers for reasons relating to their demographics, sexual orientation, physical appearance, or health conditions”.

A quarter (26 per cent) of Gen Z travellers believe that haven’t had the same opportunity for business travel due to their age, while 18 per cent of women surveyed believe they received less opportunity for business travel because of their gender.

Other factors cited as affecting business travel opportunities included an uncertain economy, with 37 per cent of employees stating they are impacted by reduced travel budgets.

The survey also highlighted the conflict between employee desire for flexibility in booking options, with travel managers’ efforts “to ensure safety and rein in costs” – 34 per cent of travel managers said that travellers booking directly was one of the biggest threats to their company’s business travel.