Summer Business Travel: 10 Trends to Consider this Season

Summer Business Travel

The days where sales people spent all their time traveling by train or car to sell directly to customers have almost completely vanished. Now, people in the corporate travel industry are asking questions like “How prevalent will biometric technology be when it comes to travel?” Business travel is always evolving to provide travelers more enjoyable and efficient experiences.

Considering your business travel may not slow down just because the summer is approaching, now is the perfect time to think about the business travel landscape. What should you consider when embarking on your summer business travels?

The following list has been adapted from the Skift Trend Report:10 Business Travel Trends for 2019.

1. Growing acceptance of the sharing economy among C-level executives

Business travelers have been a part of the sharing economy by using services like Uber, WeWork or Airbnb for some time now. However, in the past, executives and managers with the power to affect policies favored more traditional travel-related services in their corporate travel platforms. But, in recent years this behavior has shifted rapidly as their employees’ use of sharing economy services increases.
 

2. An end-to-end experience is a more enjoyable one

For busy, overworked business travelers, receiving an end-to-end experience from a corporate travel company is invaluable. In other words, business travelers are looking for simplicity. They want to be able to have a seamless experience whether they are flying, driving, or staying overnight while on the road. TMCs will need to ensure their service delivers on this need, which will ultimately lead to  improved traveler satisfaction and increased productivity.
 

3. An end-to-end experience is a more enjoyable one

For busy, overworked business travelers, receiving an end-to-end experience from a corporate travel company is invaluable. In other words, business travelers are looking for simplicity. They want to be able to have a seamless experience whether they are flying, driving, or staying overnight while on the road. TMCs will need to ensure their service delivers on this need, which will ultimately lead to  improved traveler satisfaction and increased productivity.

4. The rapid rise of bleisure trips

Who says you can’t mix business with pleasure? The number of travelers opting for a leisure element in their business trip is only growing as Millennials and Gen Z workers join the workforce. The more popular bleisure travel becomes, the more the lines between business travel and vacations will blur. Business travelers also often opt to extend their work travel in the summer when other family members have time off to travel as well. Learn about how you can get the most out of your bleisure trip.

5. A more “human” approach

Organizations are increasingly recognizing a need to redesign travel policies to allow their employees to be happier, healthier, and more productive on the road. Because business travelers often deal with issues like lack of sleep, stress, and being away from family, companies would be smart to implement policies that focus on employee wellness - it’s good for business in the long run. Travelers can also contribute to their healthiness while on the road, by incorporating some healthy habits

6. Blending customer service with technology

Apps and AI and robots, oh my! While it can’t be denied that advancements in technology have certainly enhanced the travel experience in terms of planning and organization, business travel tools will need to be properly balanced with the human touch. Each business traveler is unique and has constantly-evolving needs which require different degrees of automation and help from an actual human being.

7. Face-to-face meetings are here to stay

While the always-on, road-warrior mentality may have decreased in the past few years as technology has increased, nothing can beat the richness of face-to-face interaction. Online meetings and conference calls have become a staple in many businesses now, but many agree that a blend of both an in-person and technology approach is the best balance. 

8. Greater focus on innovation and creativity in the meetings sector

Meetings and events have always been an eelement of a typical business’s operations. Now there is a deeper focus on how companies can level-up these experiences and make the travel “worth it.” More companies are focusing on how traveling for a specific meeting or event can get their employees’ creative juices flowing and help them come up with the next big innovative idea. 

9. Trading points for personalization

Many companies within the travel space aspire to gain loyalty from travelers (especially frequent ones!), but they are seeing it’s no longer enough to simply offer points earned for flight, hotel bookings or car rentals. Traveler loyalty goes beyond just racking up points and redeeming rewards. People are increasingly looking for personalized experiences that make their trips more convenient and enjoyable, and this spans across both personal and business trips. Here are some ways we help travelers get the most out of every dollar. 

10. CFOs = business traveler happiness?

The role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is no longer just about smart budgeting and increasing a company’s bottom line - it’s expanding into other areas of the business and is also focused on the employee travel experience. They’ve realized happy business travelers play a huge part in increasing profitability, which CFOs clearly have a vested interest in. According to a McKinsey Special Collection Report, four in ten CFOs spent most of their time on strategy, transformations, or other non-finance areas. The value of going beyond financials and providing ways to improve employees’ work-life balance has proven to be a worthwhile point of focus and investment.