Even in this world of instantaneous communication and social media connectivity, business travel is still as necessary as ever. As business travel returns after the shakeup of the pandemic, the main reason travellers are hitting the road is for ‘face-to-face’ client meetings to reinforce relationships , sales meetings and conferences. But how travellers undertake their journeys has changed – here are the top 5 trends for 2023:
1. Business is mixed with pleasure
The rise of bleisure travel (Business + Leisure) is one of the most significant effects of the shift in corporate travel. More employees are extending trips and seizing opportunities for bleisure by tagging on a holiday component. In fact, more than half of international business travellers plan to tag leisure activities to their business trips. Lynn Howarth, Rennies BCD Travel’s General Manager concurs: “We’ve seen a drastic increase in the use of our holiday travel product, which offers travellers the same deep inventory and discounted prices as businesses.”
2. Events must be purposeful
Meetings and Events have returned in a big way. Managers are seeking events that deliver a robust mix of networking and content, to facilitate networking, skills development, and recruitment. It is about intentionally addressing every element of your event, building content, communication and experiences that align with the motivations of your attendee personas and, as appropriate, generate revenue for the organisation.
3. More flexible travel policies
Hybrid-remote work and new requirements for flexibility and duty of care are now permanent fixtures. To be effective, policies need to put the employee first. Corporate travellers need a travel policy that allows them to choose from more property and rate options still deemed safe by their employer. Combined with emerging preferences for bleisure travel, policies need to be more flexible to accommodate the more varied booking options.
4. Sustainable travel is here to stay
Sustainability remains a hot topic and is gaining a foothold in corporate travel decision-making. According to a 2022 GBTA survey, 88 percent of respondents viewed climate change as the first priority for action. This will likely influence businesses to pay more attention to energy-efficient travel options affecting traveller decisions. Our sustainability initiatives align with best practices and we rate in the top 1% of all suppliers assessed by EcoVadis. This experience enables us to give customers valuable advice around greener travel choices, provide tools to calculate your carbon footprint and concrete data to build a sustainability plan.
5. Agile Technology is the game changer
The pandemic highlighted the need for agility in business, and companies are now embracing technologies that simplify and streamline the travel experience. Innovative technology combined with the expertise of a travel specialist can help companies make sense of the information overload we’ve all been subjected to and drill down to relevant facts only. One example is the travel information hub, which gives travellers all the information they need to make informed decisions when planning trips.
Travel managers and their Travel Management partners will have to work together to face the challenges of establishing flexible travel and expense policies and processes that deliver safe, cost-effective and productive travel that puts their people first. We are a partner you can trust. We’ve been voted the Best TMC in Africa through a process involving thousands of travel tourism and hospitality professionals across the globe and are ready to assist you with your change journey.