As the world economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic, organizations across the globe are planning business travel cautiously. The pandemic highlighted the significance of face-to-face meetings despite the adoption of technology for video conferencing. Business travel is slowly returning as countries ease travel restrictions. Despite the positive outlook, the future of business travel may change in several ways. The focus will be more on the travel experience and convenience besides safety, as organizations need employees to regain confidence in undertaking business trips.
Future of business travel
COVID-19 has proven that nothing is predictable and no future is certain. Having said that, one can only strive for safer and better trips. The future of business will see lot of technological advancements keeping ease and safety a priority. Given below are some of the inclusions that one can see in the industry while talking about future of business travel.
1. Traveler safety
The future of business travel will see companies prioritizing the safety of employees by ensuring stricter compliance with the Duty of Care. Travel managers will need to implement safety guidelines within essential business trips. They may change travel policies to make employees understand the purpose of business travel.
2. Access to real-time information
Uncertainty is an inherent attribute of business travel. The pandemic made organizations explore tools to track the real-time locations of employees. It also underlined the need to make employees aware of emerging threats to enhance their safety in unfamiliar destinations. Real-time updates about flights, local issues, and emergency contacts will be essential priorities in the new normal.
3. Unified travel management platforms
There is an unprecedented need to enhance the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of business travel as organizations found that a segregated business travel approach is detrimental to the effectiveness of business travel.
A unified portal for travel booking facilitating employees to book transport and accommodation, real-time tracking, and updates can ensure higher efficiency and cost savings. Companies will adopt integrated travel management for better compliance with the new business travel policies.
4. Managing challenges and risks of business travel
The KRAs of travel managers will have to prioritize risk management. SaaS-based travel management solutions empower travel managers with an integrated travel management platform with app access for employees. These tools improve risk management by streamlining travel policy compliance across employee levels.
Major factors guiding the business travel evolution
Technological advancements and fluctuations in the world economy are common factors impacting the future of business travel. Besides these, the following factors will influence changes in business travel.
1. Risk management
Overseas and domestic travel covering sales assignments, leadership meetings, conferences, client project assignments, and trade events involve risks because of natural calamities, international conflicts, disasters, personal health issues, flight delays, and loss of baggage. Employee tracking tools will be necessary to improve risk management and communication during uncertain times.
2. Technology Adoption
Technological advancements are sure to influence how employees travel to fulfill the business objectives of the organizations. The growing use of digital payment solutions encourages the adoption of corporate cards. These help control expenses and allow employees the freedom to spend without deviating from expense policies. The finance department can gain the ability to extract real-time expenditure data to track spending by individual employees.
The future of business travel will focus on using centralized travel management tools to streamline all aspects of business travel, including the duty of care. These platforms provide employees with access to various features through their apps for travel booking, expense reporting, and itinerary changes.
3. Optimizing business travel costs
Organizations will strive to improve ROI by using cost-saving methods instead of cost-cutting. It will require online booking tools that ensure quick access to more affordable transport and accommodation options. Paxes allows access to regional LCCs and SOTO booking options to save costs.
Future inclusion in the corporate travel industry
The future of business travel will have the influences of techno-savvy gen-Z. Companies will consider adopting technologies like Artificial Intelligence and SaaS-based platforms for streamlining business travel management. The corporate travel industry of the future will be more efficient as it will focus on saving time and costs.
Business travel will be more responsible towards the environment. Sustainable business travel will be the buzzword, as most organizations are already choosing more sustainable options to mitigate the carbon footprint. Sustainable travel improves the brand reputation as customers prefer organizations with green credentials. Better cost efficiency is an intangible benefit of a sustainable business travel approach.
Business travel is a critical aspect of business as it connects organizations with the outside world. Several trends will shape the future of business travel besides learnings from the recent pandemic. The main highlight of future travel is technology adoption. Online travel management platforms like Paxes facilitate organizations to transition smoothly into the future. It improves the efficiency, sustainability, and safety of business travel.
Future Of Business Travel FAQs
How is the new generation of business travelers affecting accommodation?
New-generation business travelers prefer unconventional methods of accommodation like Airbnb. The millennial generation will shift the focus on vacation rentals from traditional hotel accommodations.
What will be the new trend in business travel policies of companies?
Companies will change travel policies to accommodate sustainable travel and risk management. Flexibility will be a noteworthy feature of future travel policies, as employees prefer self-booking options.
What changes are possible in air travel?
Airlines will provide in-flight connectivity to enable business travelers to remain productive during air travel. They will introduce options like a premium economy to help organizations save on travel costs without compromising the travel experience of employees.
Why will bleisure travel increase in post-pandemic business travel?
The new trend of bleisure travel is because of employees who are looking forward to a change after a long period of working from home.
How does travel boost business growth?
Travel is crucial for in-person meetings. Field sales executives travel to tap the market for new business opportunities for revenue growth. They connect with prospects and convert them into customers through in-person interactions. Frequent interactions with existing customers help maintain business revenues.