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The Changing Nature of Business Travel: Analysis of key trends and business opportunities for the industry

The Changing Nature of Business Travel: Analysis of key trends and business opportunities for the industry

Summary

Business travel is a trip undertaken for work purposes, as opposed to other types of travel such as leisure or daily commuting. Although technological advances have had positive ramifications for the communication of professionals around the world, the role of physical meetings, conferences, trade fairs, and events remains very important in international business.

During 2018, the economy is poised for “the broadest synchronized global growth upsurge since 2010”[1]. In particular, the IMF has revised its initial forecast for global growth upwards to over 3.5%. Increased business confidence, trade and a better outlook for both the US and the Eurozone are expected to boost the demand for business travel. According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), business travel spending is expected to increase by over 6% in 2018, up from just above 5% in 2017[2]. Although the increase in business travel spending will be driven by higher demand for such travel, a spike in airfares and hotel rates will also account for the rise in total spending.

International departures for business purposes are expected to increase by about 5.4%, from over 157million in 2017 to about 166 million in 2018, as a consequence of the improving economic landscape worldwide.

The key destination markets for business travel are China, the US, France, Italy, and the UK.As for the key source markets for business travel for 2017, the top five comprised China, US, Germany, India, and the UK.

The report The Changing Nature of Business Travel, provides analysis of the following key components of Business Travel -

  • Travel Policy: Although not all companies have stated company guidelines related to travel and expenses, it is common for businesses to have travel policies outlining preferred hotel suppliers, air travel class, fare types, rental vehicle types, booking methods, and expense management for business travelers.
  • Travel Management: Some companies manage business travel for their employees, while others outsource services to travel management companies (TMCs).
  • Air Travel: Air travel is a key component of international business trips. Depending on the travel policy of business travelers and corporate deals, business travelers may fly in economy, premium, business, or first class.
  • Ground Transportation: Ground transportation, including pick up from and to the airport, but also rides within the city, is another key component of business travel. Ground transportation depends on the type of services clients require; they range from public transportation and standard taxis, to luxurious chauffer services and car hire.
  • Accommodation: Business travelers tend to book accommodation close to the areas where their meetings, incentives, conventions, and events are held.
  • Traveler Security: Traveler security is becoming an increasingly important issue within travel management. Traveling abroad means the probability of unexpected events such as terror attacks and natural disasters, but also political upheaval. Companies can ensure the security of their employees through traveler tracking programs, emergency communication options, and emergency assistance providers.
Companies mentioned in this report: St. Regis, Uber, Airbnb, Sheraton, Google, Waymo, Henn-na Hotels, KLM

Scope
  • International departures for business purposes are expected to increase by 5.4% in 2018 from 157.7 million in 2017 to 166.3 million in 2018 as a result of the improving economic landscape worldwide.
  • Industry executives globally travel more for business rather than leisure
  • China ranks first both as destination and as source market for business travel
  • Technology such as artificial intelligence and digital security, but also the rise of the sharing economy, the growing importance of millennials in business travel and the popularity of bleisure trips are expected to entirely transform the business travel landscape.
Reasons to buy
  • This case study provides readers with insight into the key trends and developments in business travel for 2018, as well as key suggestions for meeting the rapidly changing needs of business travellers across cohorts. Therefore, it allows clients to develop an informed strategy for effectively tapping and growing within the business travel segment.


  • Overview
    • What is Business Travel?
    • Business Travel Flows in 2017
    • The Key Components of Business Travel
  • Insight into Business Travelers
    • What Amenities are Important for Business Travelers?
    • In Focus: Business Executives
  • Key Players in Business Travel
    • Airlines
    • Airline Trends
    • Hotels
    • Hotel Trends
  • Business Travel Trends
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • The Sharing Economy
    • Bleisure Travel
    • Security and Cyber Threats
    • Self-Driving Cars
  • Outlook
    • Conclusions
    • What is the way forward?
  • Appendix
    • References
    • Terminology and definitions

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