The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc in the business travel industry. Even a couple of years out from the worst of it, we’re still seeing that every two steps forward comes with another step back. As 2022 came to a close, the US imposed more testing requirements on some international travelers, and other nations have adopted similar policies.
Still, a robust industry momentum along with the latest corporate travel trends are pointing to a significant recovery in 2023 and beyond.
Business travel trends for 2023 indicate that companies are trying to offer their employees the chance to travel in order to connect with co-workers and clients, but they are also focused on finding better tools to save time and money in the process. Both large and small companies are trying to implement modern, unified travel and expense management solutions in order to facilitate bookings, reimbursements, and travel support for their employees.
These unified, all-in-one solutions are critical in 2023 when business travel is expected to significantly recover close to pre-pandemic levels. Although many employees still work remotely, business travel remains an essential activity among the world’s workforce.
What’s more, the appetite for travel has not shown any signs of regress. Data for business travel trends show that 78 percent of business travelers expect to take at least one work-related trip in the next quarter alone.
Here are eight trends we’re watching.
Business travelers are still concerned about staying healthy, but according to 2023 corporate travel trends, they’ll continue to grow more confident thanks to easy vaccination procedures and strict hygiene regulations. However, their main concern is access to timely information about possible changes in travel procedures. To alleviate this concern, companies must focus on improving communication between travel departments or managers and their employees.
A recent report on business travel trends by TripActions, ‘The State of Corporate Travel & Expense 2023’, has shown that almost 48.5% of employees struggle with finding reliable information about changes in travel procedures. This leads to problems in scheduling and planning business trips. Other concerns are related to staying healthy while traveling (32.3% of travelers), understanding the company’s travel policy, and planning and estimating costs (32.2% of travelers).
Many employees still work remotely, and this business travel trend is expected to remain high. In some industries, employees will work remotely for longer, and this will spur meaningful business travel.
At least 35% of US businesses engage in business travel, and for many industries — such as nursing, engineering, manufacturing, or logistics — travel is unavoidable, even in a remote-first workforce. People still need to connect with co-workers, third-party service providers, and clients. Beyond the practicality of travel, many business travelers are excited by the idea of regular get-togethers with coworkers and clients. Keeping remote employees connected via regular physical contact is critical, and growing trends show business travel is the ideal solution.
Business travel is still an essential activity for both employees and business owners, and corporate travel trends say that now that health restrictions have been lifted in many areas, it’s expected to bounce back. Many companies may feel overdue for a retreat.
Similarly, events, meetings, conferences, workshops, and other events are slowly getting back. Last year, the Sibos financial conference in Amsterdam had more than 10,000 participants in its first year back to an in-person gathering.
The major players in the industry are optimistic about 2023 business travel trends, as there is a strong commitment and pacing through already signed contracts for major events. One thing’s certain – people have had enough of online meetings and conferences and want to go back to real-life events. Safety protocols may change from one event to the next, but both travelers and managers must be ready to adapt.
Climate consciousness and sustainability are also business travel trends set to define corporate travel in 2023. A 2022 survey of business travelers has revealed that most respondents are concerned about the impact of business travel on the environment and 72% of them are willing to change their travel habits in a move towards sustainability. Nearly 75% of them consider that the employer should try to offset their business travel to reduce their carbon footprint.
Other studies have suggested that companies that don’t try to solve this issue may find themselves at odds with their clients, employees, and investors.
As a corollary to that environmental concern, many employees still want to travel, and one corporate travel trend we’re watching is the adoption of more environmentally responsible itineraries and travel methods. For example, companies may invest in fleets of electric vehicles or encourage employees to use public transportation or bike to work.
When it comes to large-scale business travel, companies will be increasingly interested in solutions that reduce travel spend while leveraging environmentally conscious options for accommodations and local mileage.
Business travel is a major perk for some employees, and it can be attached to personal travel or vice versa. This has been one of the foremost business travel trends gaining traction since the pandemic. According to a corporate travel trends report by Expedia Group, 29% of employees will take a business-leisure trip and 28% will take a flexible vacation by booking accommodation for both business and personal travel.
Many companies are looking at ways to develop flexible policies that combine business travel with personal travel. Some companies are even finding ways to support this type of business + personal travel financially, providing incentives and flexible travel plans.
This business travel trend boils down to how businesses can increase cost efficiency, especially as it relates to corporate travel expenses. Now, most companies simply can’t afford the inefficiencies that come with old legacy systems.
All-in-one travel and expense solutions are the keys to efficient business travel in 2023. These solutions reduce manual labor, reduce costs, and provide real-time management visibility. Companies can get a competitive advantage and provide better travel opportunities for their employees.
Business travel trends show that companies are looking for ways to evolve their spending approach, particularly in the business travel sector. The post-pandemic period is ideal to try to create an all-in-one management plan for both business travel and related expenses. Ideally, a company should have a single, easy-to-manage system that is highly adaptable to this changing economic environment.
A large majority of managers are interested in this corporate travel trend and are searching for a solution that provides better unification of all expenses, including business travel. A simplified, unified platform like Telios Travel reduces complexity for managers, reduces costs, and provides a better experience for employees.
For instance, travel inventory needs, travel support, and booking can all be managed directly from our platform. And with dedicated agents available for guidance, the risk of errors is reduced and technology gaps are avoided – our unified system makes it easier for every participant to take advantage of the services.
This business travel trend makes holding one group accountable easier and solving management issues simpler. Simply put, a user is able to book, manage, and get travel support in one place, online, and easily accessible from anywhere in the world. And since Telios Travel is in partnership with an expansive network of global travel vendors, the management advantage that we offer is enormous, as costs are also reduced across the board.
If you’re interested in hopping on this business travel trend and learning more about how we can help you manage your business travel program with better ease and efficiency, then book a consultation call with us now or give a call at (786) 209-1240 to get in touch with a Telios Travel expert!