With corporate travel budgets continuing to rise, so too are expectations of the corporate traveler. From the need for more comfortable accommodations to environmentally friendly travel – as well as updated technology to make the trip more efficient and satisfying – the business traveler of the next decade isn’t afraid to speak up about their wants and needs.
Less time and effort planning travel and more time conducting business is what the business traveler expects in 2020. From more user-friendly corporate travel tools that are data-driven and support the fulfillment of duty of care to exceptional digital booking customer service (vs dealing with a live person), the business traveler desires efficiency. Corporate travelers also frequently note that advanced expense reporting software is a must moving into the next decade, and many feel their organizations are way behind in this area.
In recent years, technology tools such as Skype, Slack, DropBox, and Google Drive have provided corporations platforms to conduct business through video and digital collaboration. However, according to a recent survey conducted by TripActions & Skift, more than 90 percent of business travelers and travel managers still feel strongly that business travel is important for driving company growth. That nothing works more effectively than face-to-face, whereby true connections and the building of rapport can occur. And according to the US Travel Association, face-to-face meetings mean economic growth of up to $100 billion a year in tax revenue.
Carbon Footprint and Sustainability Impact
In September 2019 TripActions conducted a survey of more than 1,200 corporate travelers, with 80 percent of the respondents expressing real concern about their business travel on the environment. This has led more folks to consider train and auto travel, including chauffeured transportation such as Dav El Boston Coach, as a way to get around. In response, airlines such as United, British Airways, Qantas, and Lufthansa (to name a few) have made commitments to offset their carbon footprints. It’s important to note, as Virgin Atlantic’s Richard Branson said, “Realistically, people are not going to stop flying–the most avid of marchers are going to fly. What’s critical is that we enable them to fly as environmentally-friendly as possible.”
According to a recent report by Expedia GroupTM Media Solutions, more and more business travelers are extending their travel to make the most of their experience – and not just by a day or two – weeks in some instances, depending on the location.
The GBTA Foundation also reports that one-third (37%) of North American business travelers extended a work trip for leisure. Millennials (48%) did so at a higher rate than Gen-X travelers (33%) and Baby Boomers (23%) – with the numbers increasing every year. Much of this is attributed to changing corporate cultures adopting employee well-being both in the office and on the road. And with many seeking home-like accommodations more and more, companies like Airbnb are answering the call with programs like Airbnb for work, which also offers better corporate and streamlined travel management.
With each new year comes resolutions, goals, and the motivation to try new things. For additional growing trends in business travel, check out Business Travel News or the TripActions + Skift report on the state of business travel 2020. Happy New Year and safe travels!