The world of business travel has significantly evolved in the past recent years. From the rise of modern travel technologies to the unfolding of new strategies that aim to counter global uncertainties such as terrorism and geopolitical crisis, new travel trends and shifts have changed the way business travelers plan and execute their domestic and international trips.
This article is a Guest Post from Reza Choudhury, runs an international chauffeur company that helps facilities managers, travel managers, event managers, executives assistants, c-level executives and office managers, arrive at their destination on-time and stress-free. All opinions are the author’s alone.
But despite the challenges of coping with these new trends, many companies are still set to continue their business travel plans for the coming years. In fact, the 2016 report from Global Business Travel Association forecasted that the global travel spending would advance 5.8% on average for the next five years reaching $1.6 trillion in 2020.
According to the report, the thriving global economy combined with rapid advancements in technology drives the growth of the business travel industry. So, if you think you will be affected by the changes that are currently revolutionizing the corporate travel scene, then you need to make sure you stay informed.
Read on as we discuss in this post the newest trends shaking up the world of business travel.
10 New Travel Trends for Business Travel
- Artificial Intelligence
The increasing pervasiveness and adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are one of the major trends observed in the global business travel market. With search and booking habits becoming increasingly predictive, providing tailored recommendations ahead of time is now a possibility for travel companies.
According to an interview by Travel Daily News to Jean Noel Lau Keng Lun, Senior Director Product Marketing at Egencia. “We already see this broadly in the leisure travel field and more and more taking over in business travel as well.
One example is chat-powered customer service, which we expect to become integral to travel planning. By blending human-and-artificial-intelligence powered technology, travel agencies and services now have the potential to provide travelers with an unprecedented combination of convenience and contextual relevance.”
- Personalized Business Travel
The emergence and increased adoption of AI have led many business travellers to believe that their service providers will be more able to provide them with a more satisfying booking experience.
“Personalisation plays an important role here”, Lau Keng Lun continues. “This is where AI provides real value: It can analyse huge amounts of data and determine patterns to give more personalised search results improving the booking experiences. For 2018, we see the need for such technologies to evolve further.
AI has already enabled a range of apps, bots and software that bring personalisation to modern corporate travelers, making the whole travel process easier and therefore rising satisfaction. But, we are still only scratching the surface of what AI can do.”
- Shared Economy
The sudden popularity of sharing economy over the past recent years has blurred the line between leisure and business travel – with more and more business travellers extending their trip for leisure purposes.
The 4th Business Travel and Technology Survey by Egencia indicates that 25% of UK business travellers have made use of a shared economy lodging service and a further 44% are considering it in the past year.
While it’s a trend that started slowly in business travel, the statistics show that shared economy-based lodging services will become a major staple for corporate travelers with always on-the-go and no-frills mindset.
- Bleisure Travel
Combining pleasure and business travel has become a widely-adopted among road warriors nowadays.
Recent statistics from Expedia revealed that on average, across the five countries surveyed, bleisure travelers take more than six business trips per year, and more than 60% of business trips in 2017 were extended for leisure purposes. In the U.S., bleisure travel conversion is consistent with the multi-national average of 60% – revealing a nearly 40% increase in bleisure travel since 2016.
It’s easy to perceive that bleisure travel is just for millennials, but in fact, it should be taken advantage by business people of all ages. Not only it can help alleviate the stress of traveling, but it can also help corporate travelers to stray productive and expand their cultural knowledge as well.
- Live Chat on Travel Services Websites
Seamless and hassle-free customer service is extremely crucial for corporate travelers to stay with their current airlines and service providers. In order to ensure such experiences, more and more airlines, hotels, TNCs, and chauffeur companies are equipping their websites with live chat capabilities.
Adding such a feature enables these companies to gain benefits such as faster response time to all travel inquiries, allowing them to boost their sales, increase their revenue, and improve customer loyalty.
- Rising Hotel And Airline Ticket Prices
Ticket and lodging costs are two of the most significant expenses in business travel. While the rising cost of traveling can be managed through extensive cost-cutting, business travelers should still be prepared to spend even more for their flights and hotels in the coming years. According to a recent GBTA Forecast Report, hotel prices can be expected to rise by an average of 3.7% in 2019, and flight costs will increase by 2.6%
- Mobile Payment
The fast-paced and mobile nature of business travel requires travelers to have a quick and easy payment option for all the purchases they make on the road, hence the surge in popularity of mobile payment platforms. According to a report from DCC Forum, more than 55% of business travelers expect many popular destinations to be completely cashless within the next decade, while 51% said they predict all payments to be made via mobile.
When it comes to business traveling, flexibility should never be undermined. That is why more and more corporate travelers are seeking self-booking tools that will allow them to follow their own preferences when choosing their own flights and hotel rooms.
A self-booking tool also eliminates the need for an in-house booker, allowing travel managers to focus on more important aspects of their job, such as ensuring the Duty of Care for their employees.
- Private Jet Travel
Business travel risks such as flight delays, excessive security checks, and the uneasiness that comes from sitting on a long commercial flight will drive significant growth in private jets for corporate travel in the years to come.
Among the perks in the executive level, access to private aviation may seem like the most luxurious option out there. However, it also hosts several advantages, including convenience, comfort, and efficiency – elements which are very crucial to ensuring a comfortable, safe, and productive business trips.
- Changes in TMC Industry
The thriving global business travel market has enticed a lot of start-up companies to enter and challenge the Travel Management Companies (TMCs) that are currently dominating the market. As such, corporate travelers could expect their TMCs to adopt the above mentioned technologies and offer new technology-dependent services to keep them above the competition.
With the plethora of new trends making rounds in the business travel landscape nowadays, it is more critical than ever for both travelers and travel managers to keep an open eye on how these changes can positively or negatively impact their business once they adapt to them.
What Say You? Final thoughts on New Travel Trends
By the way, if you are interested in more travel tips and travel advice, you might be like these great articles:
- 101 Travel Hacks for the Business Traveler – the Best Business Travel Hacks
- How to get over jet lag while you travel – 11 Tips every traveler needs to know
- The 7 Habits of the Healthy Business Traveler: How to Stay Healthy While Traveling for Business
- 11 Packing Tips Every Traveler Needs to Know
This was a guest post from Reza Choudhury.
Reza runs an international chauffeur company that helps facilities managers, travel managers, event managers, executives assistants, c-level executives and office managers, arrive at their destination on-time and stress-free. He does this by providing an app & online platform that allows users to schedule multiple bookings while watching chauffeur’s arrive in real-time. His passion is spending time with his family and playing table tennis. Visit HYRYDE to know him more. Reza also hosts a blog providing useful travel tips and more. You can visit it here.