But few compare conference costs to actual trips
A new survey has found that 79.2% of companies are making more use of conferences calls, Webex and other alternatives to travel since the recession hit businesses.
But the poll of 60 European buyers found that only 3.4% had compared cost of the technology to that of making the actual trip.
The survey was carried out by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) for Business Travel Market (BTM), a new travel show in London.
Caroline Allen, ACTE's regional director for Northern and East Central Europe and Russia, said: "While a greater use of conference calls, web conference and telepresence may be a major cost cutting measure in the recession, only 3.4% of respondents actually compare no-demand technology costs against either the actual the actual or estimated total trip costs."
Ms Allen said ACTE aimed to make figures for such comparisons available through its educational events.
Other findings of the poll were that 67.9% of buyers had cut the number of approved trips while 66% said they now booked further in advance to get lower fares.
Nearly half (49.1%) said they had downgraded the class of travel but only 7.5% said they had banned travel altogether. However 26.4% said there was a ban for non-revenue generating trips.
The buyers also cited other measures to curb spending.
These included same day meetings to avoid overnight stays, shorter trips, multiple meetings in the same trip, greater use of public transport and low cost airlines and less use of taxis and limousines.
Paul Robin, founder of BTM, said: "It would appear that some of the restrictions that were forced on many business travellers have proved workable and will be here to stay.
"The survey...implies that the changes have worked to reduce costs, business has continued and when we return to financial stability those changes that have worked well will remain in place.
Mr Robin said the survey showed that the buyers' primary focus was on leveraging "better discounts with airlines and hotels on a global basis to ensure travel is undertaken when needed but at a reduced cost."