Business travel industry trends

Technology has seriously invaded all the fields that exists in the world. Infrastructure is changing so much as is culture. The way we travel today cannot be comparable at any level like how is used to be a century ago. The transport systems, infrastructure, the comfort levels, the distance covered, and so much more has significantly and rapidly improved. To visit a foreign country, all you need is your visa, air ticket and a place to sleep. Today, we do hotel booking much more different than we did a couple of years back. You can finish up your bookings and transaction online, without having to make tons of follow-up calls to back you up.

In the same way, travelling for business is no longer the same. Travel policies have changed, so that there is more specialization and personalization. Here is a look at some of the trends that have sprouted in the business travel industry:

Employee interests coming first

Other than tailoring the travel polices of your business centered on corporate compliance and efficiency, times have changed. The people who work in companies today are millennial, and their loyalty is not so much anchored in the interests of the company as was with the previous generation. Now, businesses have to pay much more attention to the interests and needs of their employees if at all they are to comply with the travel policies of the business. Offering some incentives that are worthy of the employees’ attention has become a trend these days. This includes allowances, extended vacation time after business for personal time, bonus, to mention a few.

Mixing business with pleasure

Leisure is not a concept that was stressed in the business travel industry. However, today, it is becoming more difficult by the day. Business trips go as far as involve attractive destinations, which over time, has brought about the concept of ‘bleisure’, which is mixing business with leisure. Almost half of the time that employees are out for business travel, they engage in pleasure. For this reason, companies do not find need in restricting this. They are slowly leaning toward accommodating both, where the persons sent out for business travel have an extended period to relax before resuming to work.

Virtual meetings

Shot of a diverse team of colleagues having a video conference in a modern office

Businesses are going global every other day. With such a huge coverage, geographical distance makes it difficult to get things done. However, thanks to technology, the business travel industry has indulged a lot in virtual meetings. Video conferencing and teleconferencing are becoming part of the job description. This way, employees on a business trip can submit a report every day without distance coming in the way.

On-the-go mobile booking

Technology is to be blamed again for the changing trends in travelling logistics. Smartphones today can do almost anything that computers can. With the interests of the employees playing a huge role in the decisions they make, people are seeking more convenient ways of travelling. Instead of spending lots of time to and from the booking stations to find a flight that is the perfect time, people are using more unique booking sites to get that done. Using a mobile phone, employees can make reservations for the hotels they will use, book flights, and even rent cars, from the comfort of their homes.

Comfort and preference

Technically, reimbursement will still occur as long as the tasks to be conducted on the business trip are done, and the travel process closely resembles the corporate travel policies of the company. This means that people on business trips do not have to worry so much about following the rules, especially when the rules undermine their comfort and preferences. For this reason, business trips are more personal than ever before.  

Less reliance on Travel Management Companies (TMCs)

TMCs have for a while been controlling the business travel industry. Their breakthrough has always been in ensuring corporate travel policy adherence by users, but things are changing quickly. Ideally, with a TMC working for your business, there is less flexibility in making booking for hotels and flights, and more restraining on employee’s preferences in an effort to prioritize the policies of a business. With more unique booking methods today, travelers are opting to make reservations on the open market and companies are relying less on TMCs for their business arrangements, while leaning more on employee-centric business trips.

Shared economy

Business trips are not a new concept for companies. Some of the travels organized are anchored toward a similar agenda, for example, attending an international conference. Thanks to this, travelers are verging more on a shared economy with other travelers, whether from their own company or not. Technically, ridesharing or even home sharing. Instead of incurring the cost of a hotel room multiple times while the agenda is the same, traveler rely on shared economy to get by, especially in tours that involve visiting expensive cities like New York. Different people can determine an AirBnB and share the cost while achieving the very purpose of the business travel.

If you have been considering taking a business trip, these are just some of the trends that can make it interesting while not compromising your goals.