12 Feb 2023 business travel trends that will change the way you stay
According to a new Morgan Stanley Research survey, business travel profitability for hotels catering to higher-paying corporate clients is recovering after nearly ceasing during the pandemic. After a slow route back to a sustained business travel outlook, we now have reason to be optimistic.
Here are some of the major trends poised to create new possibilities for 2023.
The pandemic prompted workers to examine whether their employers valued their physical and emotional wellbeing, triggering corporate concerns around duty-of-care issues. Now, with the return to a (mostly) hybrid working model, travel managers are carefully assessing how to keep employees safe when travelling, including employees who need to work while on holiday. Fortunately, the new ISO 31030 standard provides a framework for organisations to ensure their travel risk management policies and processes are up to date and reflect current risks.
While many travel policies focus on cost reductions and regulatory compliance, these objectives can only be met if workers understand and support them. According to 41 percent of business travellers, cost savings exceed employee satisfaction in their organisation’s business travel policy, 38 percent feel both elements are matched, whereas only 21 percent indicate employee satisfaction takes precedence over cost efficiency. Building a clear travel policy that balances budgets with employee satisfaction will help organisations ensure corporate trips are valuable in 2023.
As well as improving efficiency with travel and expense management software, technology is contributing to the safety of mobile workforces. From emergency alerts on smartphones to real-time tracking, it is now simpler than ever to detect missing persons, advise travellers of local threats, and remotely report travel difficulties to employers. In fact, 70 percent of employees are interested in integrated access to risk intelligence information, and 38 percent are not satisfied with the current travel technology their company has implemented. This year we can expect to see the introduction of more technological solutions to keep employees better connected when travelling.
Travel promotes growth and is essential for establishing and sustaining business relationships, but this incurs significant environmental impact. Airlines have started adopting more sustainable fuels and eco hotels continue to thrive, but the stark reality is that corporate travel must become more environmentally friendly. 30 percent of organisations believe that an 11-25 percent reduction in travel budgets is imminent as a result of companies embracing ESG practices. Travel managers will therefore have to assess the carbon footprint of travel and how to limit or offset it.
Accommodating the future of business travel
The sector has shown tremendous resilience in resuming operations after the pandemic. Issues around personal safety, security, and the drive towards sustainability will continue to dominate the agenda, but if the travel industry approaches these difficulties with the same tenacity it has shown over the past two years, it will no doubt thrive in 2023 and beyond.
If you would like support or guidance in building a robust travel risk management policy for your organisation, get in touch.