Corporate Travel is finally back. Or is it?
At Concertiv, we think resoundingly yes – It is no secret travel is back and busier than ever.
With the return to travel at an overwhelming volume, comes packed airports and greater disruption. Even more so, although some companies are not at pre-pandemic levels of travel, travel spending in 2022 has already surpassed that of 2019.
As with every aspect of business in the past few years, we are approaching a new universe of travel requirements and questions, and the nature of business travel has profoundly changed materially.
Traveler-initiated changes include:
- The rise of remote work and the convenience and routine of zoom
- Companies taking longer international trips and holding internal meetings on zoom
- Continuing to prioritize travel for top-line growth
- Travel teams have shrunk because of the pandemic, putting them in a weak position to manage large travel programs and optimize spending today
The most impactful, non-traveler-initiated change is pricing escalation for flights, hotels, and all things travel. Most of our travel partners are
forecasting a 6-10% increase in fares and hotel pricing in 2023.
Learn about the upcoming trends to inform your 2022 and 2023 travel plans
Concertiv experts across the marketing, travel services, and executive teams including Meghan Lockwood, Kellie Bird, Mikaela DePeppe, and Priya Iyer, joined together to inform us of the upcoming trends in post-pandemic business travel.
In under an hour, this panel covered the following:
- Is business travel "back"? The who, what, where, and when of returning to the road
- Practical tips to combat rising prices and travel disruptions
- How to plan an in-person or team event strategy for the next six months
- The ROI of travel expenditure
Drive Cost Savings (listen at minute 19:00)
Our tip for rising prices and driving cost savings is to review your travel policy.
There are two areas to focus on here: how your employees are traveling and where. Review air class of service, and work with your travel agency to identify trends in how your employees are flying. If you notice an increase in coach class traveling, work with airline partners to get discounts in those classes. While hotel rates are soaring, our clients are looking more closely at city rate caps on a case-by-case basis to see if it is worth implementing explicit policies.
Review Vendor Relationships
Once you have reevaluated how your employees are flying and where they are staying, work with your partners to review your agreements and ensure your contracts are reflecting accordingly. Ensure visibility for your total spend, negotiate service and price.
Combatting Travel Disruptions (listen at minute 24:00)
With 1,500 flights cancelled on August 5, 2022, airlines and hotels have seen a rough summer due to staff shortages, severe weather, and air traffic control delays. This has left seasoned business travelers with abrupt cancellations.
How do we approach this to be more prepared?
- Remind your travelers to be flexible and prepare for disruptions
- Have alternatives planned as a travel booker (hotels, flights, cars, etc.)
- Be aware of less standby / rewards available, consider upgrading corporate packages
- Travel agents should keep their travelers informed of updated protocols for international business travel (tests, forms, screenings, etc.)
In-Person Event Strategy (listen at minute 32:00)
There is a huge push to get back in person after being remote, and everyone is eager to make the right impression again. Because of this collective demand, event planning faces less flexibility and availability.
- Plan ahead, consider alternative dates
- Be aware of more flexibility and options in secondary and tertiary cities
- Be creative in the face of rising prices; food and drink options may look different
What to take with you:
- Ensure your policies are updated to reflect your business needs
- Leverage all negotiations and savings levers
- Support your travelers with today’s realities
Watch the full travel webinar below: