While virtual meetings and remote work are here to stay, business travel and face-to-face meetings remain extremely important. In fact, client-facing and revenue generating travel is taking priority over internal meetings and trainings. Below we uncover 5 travel trends here to stay:
1. Increased Local & Regional Meetings
Domestic travel is returning more quickly than international travel. Suppliers, however, are struggling with resourcing issues – flights cancelled and delayed and long airline hold times are affecting travelers and agents alike. Consequently, large meetings have been replaced with smaller, more frequent local and regional meetings, that can be attended with car travel. As a result, rental car premiums are climbing, and inventory is contracting.
There are numerous self-booking options that business professionals can leverage. This trend towards self-booking may also be another offshoot of the generational shift in corporate travelers. After all, millennials prefer self-booking when they travel so that they can find flights and accommodations that meet their preferences.
3. More flexible corporate travel policies
Travelers are now more likely to go outside employer-approved channels when booking properties and transportation for their trips.
Corporate travelers need a booking process that provides better availability and allows them to choose from more property and rate options. Combined with emerging preferences for unconventional accommodations, the need for more varied booking options pushes corporate travel policies to become more flexible.
4. Emphasis on Bleisure, Business Mixed with Pleasure
By far, the biggest trend in hospitality right now is the rise of bleisure travel (Business & Leisure). It is proven to be one of the most significant outcomes of the demographic shift in corporate travel, as the workforce is becoming increasingly younger, more employees now are looking to do more than work during their trips away from the office. Bleisure travelers go on these trips once every two to three months. More than half of international business travelers plan to extend business trips to accommodate leisure activities at their destination.
5. The Venue IS the Destination
The hotel has become the destination for many corporate travelers. In the past, many viewed hotels as simply a place to sleep at night during a meeting or conference, but there is a trend of businesses hosting meetings and events at trendy properties with experiential packages and area activities. Smaller boutique hotels and home-like accommodations, also enjoy increased popularity among business travelers today which provide opportunities for exploring the destination in new ways. More travelers also stay further away from the city center, as comfort and proximity to local leisure activities are prioritized.