Top trends in business travel for 2019
The Business travel industry is constantly evolving as the needs and demands of the key stakeholders in the market keep changing and evolving as well. For the year ahead, some of the dominant trends you need to pay attention to have been listed below –
1. Personalization —the drive for more unique experiences
In the contemporary world, a vast majority of the world’s population discloses that the standard traveling regime fails to be satisfactory. Personalized experiences today are more of an expectation than a privilege. No longer are the atypical travel itineraries designed around a generic experience for the masses fulfilling what they set out to deliver, primarily because they are hardly what the masses desire. Individuals savor personalized experiences they may it be on a vacation or a corporate trip. The success of Airbnb is a prominent example as more and more people choose Airbnb’s that provide a more genuine and unique, culturally immersive experiences curated by local experts as opposed to staying in a business hotel. Personalization is set to dominate among the trends for 2019 in the corporate travel industry and businesses all around the world are taking measures to adapt and adopt.
2. Bleisure – an emerging norm in business travel
2019 will witness a growing rise in travelers merging their business and leisure trips thus boosting ‘bleisure’ trips overall. One of the most commonly used jargon today is “Bleisure”. With blurring lines between personal and professional lives, every professional is now keen to extend their business trip and de-stress over the weekend. Contrary to common notions, the trend includes not just millennials but rather the entire workforce. In an interview with Nick Evered, SVP and GM at SAP Concur, he stated that “data from SAP Concur indicates that the entire workforce from Generation X to Baby Boomers is including leisure days as part of their business trips where possible.
This trend is true not just in the US but also across all regions worldwide. Some of the top APAC destinations for these bleisure travelers include Tokyo, Singapore, Shanghai, all of which are among the top 20 travel destinations.”
3. Growing Focus on Sharing Economy –
Sharing Economy has already entered the Business travel market, much like in the consumer product and services industry, and is here to stay. It refers to a system of economy where there is shared access to goods and services among individuals in the economy. Although the shared economy has existed in the travel and hospitality industry for a long time now, contrary to popular beliefs, in the form of bed and breakfasts and communal travel; Increasing access to technology has paved the path for start-ups to make tremendous developments in sharing economy. Primary examples for this would be industry giants like Airbnb and Uber. The landscape of business travel continues to evolve as more and more corporate travelers show an increasing inclination towards more genuine and novel experiences, often delivered better by an Airbnb as opposed to a business hotel. As collected from a report by Toonz, data showcases that “26% of travel managers have planned or implemented a policy in regards to sharing economy ground transportation, whereas a large 39% of travel managers still say that implementing the sharing economy into corporate travel policies is not on the agenda. Additionally, 21% of travel managers say that they plan to introduce sharing economy accommodation options within two years”
4. Millennials steal the show –
Millennials are taking over and the business travel industry is no exception. In the contemporary world, the dominant demographic in the industry is a 20-30 old individual, with a set of needs and expectations that stand in stark contrast to the previous generation, the baby boomers. Today the average corporate traveler is hardly the suit wearing, briefcase carrying 40-year-old businessman, rather you can expect a 20 something with a laptop, with a hunger for instant gratification, a knack for technology and an intrinsic desire for genuine experiences. They prefer a being in control of all their arrangements, expect everything to be available at the tip of their fingertips, a habit common in the culture of the entire generation. Although millennials don’t retain themselves from splurging on travel they constantly seek ROI and value for their money. What makes their role so crucial in the industry is because as per recent reports by GBTA “Millennials are nearly twice as likely to want to travel more for business than baby boomers” deeming them the key demographic that will shape the face for the industry.