While the Omicron variant may have thrown a spanner in the works of
the travel revival, travel experts worldwide still collectively hold the
same sentiment: People want to travel, whether it’s to visit their
friends or relatives, take a breather from the rat race, or even expand
Globally, countries are seeing an increase in vaccination uptake, and
despite persisting Covid-19 risk mitigation protocols that differ from
airport to airport which can come across as rather challenging to
navigate, more people are flying either for business or leisure.
Rudy Daniello, Executive Vice President Amadeus Cytric Solutions, in
an Amadeus blog article, stated that “despite recovery happening at a
different pace across the world, some markets are slowly emerging from
the risk zone and business travellers are dusting off their hold-all
bags, looking to take the next trip.”
Referencing Amadeus report which collected the perspectives of over
250 executives from travel management companies (TMCs) around the world,
Daniello shared the following findings.
In-person business meetings still reign supreme
Much of the modern workforce are familiarised with organising or
participating in virtual meetings by now, but despite being acclimated
to it, the rise of video conferencing only served to drive home the
value of spending time in person with clients, partners or counterparts.
In the Amadeus survey, TMC executives believe the impact of video
conferencing on business travel depends on the reason for the trip. The
majority believe that face-to-face interactions still hold high priority
in business trips, conferences, fairs and exhibitions.
These executives have also felt a seismic shift in travel patterns,
with more business travellers favouring longer stays, with a higher
spend per trip, and companies more willing to pay for direct flights or
premium cabins to optimise employee safety.
The survey also noted that ‘bleisure’ travel is gaining traction once
again. Corporate travellers are opting for longer business trips to
incorporate both work assignments and leisure activities. Some
travellers may even take a ‘workcation’ where they work from a leisure
destination for an extended period.
Bending to the flexibility of hybrid options
The birth of a new era of work arrangements that blends both
in-person and virtual elements, have given rise to new possibilities in
engaging stakeholders. However, corporations had to overcome the many
challenges and complexities that came with hybrid working.
On that aspect, Amadeus is working on continually supporting
companies in digital transformation and ensuring they are meeting the
new demands that come with hybrid working. A recent partnership with
Microsoft aims to provide a native experience for business travellers
while simplifying travel planning and increasing productivity.
Growing focus on duty of care
Partly due to clients’ internal reorganisations, 65% of TMC
respondents consider an increased focus on duty of care to be a
corporate clients’ primary need. Businesses required a higher level of
support from travel providers during the pandemic as travellers needed
reassurance and round-the-clock service.
of TMC executives surveyed consider health and safety information
before and during the trip to be a business traveller’s main priority,
followed by alerts during the journey and flexible tickets for
last-minute booking or changing.
Due to the logistical challenges of travel during this time and high
chances for disruption, there’s an increased focus on optimising travel
spend and renewed emphasis on duty of care.
Sustainability is the latest buzzword in business travel
Prior to the pandemic, sustainable travel was simply viewed as a
“nice to have” but it has become integral to most corporations and both
business and leisure travellers, as recent trends have shown.
TMCs indicate that more companies are increasingly requesting for
sustainable travel options like booking environmentally friendly hotels
and transport, and providing emissions data.