Business travel is evolving almost every year. With the continuous demand for face-to-face meetings, a robust international meetings sector, and advancements in technology and consumer travel tools, this industry is poised to only grow in the coming years.
We have listed some of the most important emerging travel trends we are seeing in 2019 that are affecting and will continue to influence the business travel industry in the near future.
Business travellers now demand a great end-to-end experience that can enable better productivity and provide them with certainty when it comes to reducing cost and saving time.
Furthermore, there is also a growing demand for simplification. This means that you can expect more requests for business travel tools like mobile applications that can smoothly connect all aspects of a corporate travel experience such as booking, easy trip management, and customer support in one convenient platform.
Such seamless experience help improve traveller satisfaction and allow business travellers to be more flexible for last-minute changes in their itinerary.
Mixing Business and Leisure
There is increased importance on work and life balance emerging in the business world.
Spearheaded by the millennial generation, baby boomers and individuals in Generation X are all taking part in this new trend known as “bleisure.” Instead of focusing strictly on business when travelling, many travellers now extend their work trip for leisure, exploring new cities and getting a deeper experience of the places they visit.
It’s a trend we expect to continue to rise in the coming years and one that can impact many facets of corporate travel – from expense management to the development of business travel products.
Safety and Security
As business travel continues to grow, the demand for safety and security increases too. Duty of care is a practice that is now on a trend where companies implement risk management procedures to ensure the safety of their travelling employees. In fact, a study from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives reveals that duty of care or traveler safety is the top strategic priority of 95% of corporate travel managers.
These procedures can range from your company leveraging traveller tracking solutions to alert you of any emergency situations in your places of destination to giving you the necessary support in cases of missed flights, lost passports, or falling ill while abroad.
Partnering with trusted service providers is also one way to ensure traveller safety. For instance, when hiring a chauffeured service, it is best to look at their safety management plan as well as their reputation for taking care of their customers so you know that your staff will get to their destination safe and sound.
Technology and the Human Touch in Customer Service
Technology has definitely made travelling more efficient than ever before. It has provided us with innovative solutions that can help us get to where we needed to be.
However, we are now seeing a trend where more and more customers are looking for the right balance between automation and personal human touch.
For example, Skift’s 2018 Global Business Travel Report shows that most travelers are comfortable with using an automated service for in-transit and in-destination essentials such as checking ground transport trips or flight details. But when it comes to changing plans or when they have problems with their trips, many travellers still prefer the comfort of human support.
When you’re on the lookout for a new travel service provider, be sure to check first how they respond to their customers’ problems and how accessible their customer service is.
As mentioned earlier, the demand for face-to-face meetings is one of the driving factors why the world of business travel continues to thrive.
Despite the availability of teleconferencing technologies that enable virtual communication, in-person meetings remain to be essential in achieving business objectives. In fact, a travel survey conducted by American Express reported that many businesses view that it would give their competitors an advantage if they reduce the current level of their business travels.
Here at Cars on Demand, the ongoing significance of personal interactions to a company’s success has been made evident by the number of business travellers who ride with us on a daily basis. These executives are conducting meetings in various states across Australia with the goal of growing their business.
Indeed, the development in technology and the behaviour of the modern traveller are changing the world of corporate travel today. They have also changed the way business is conducted in related industries such as hospitality and transport where safety, efficiency, reliability and unique customer experience are more relevant than ever.