Embracing technology, sustainability, and cost-effective strategies for the post-pandemic era
In 2023, business travel continues to evolve as a result of ongoing changes in the global economy, technology, and the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As small business owners look to adapt and succeed in this new landscape, it's essential to understand the trends shaping business travel and implement strategies to maximize efficiency and minimize costs.
Increasing role of technology in business travel
Technology has become a crucial part of business travel, with various tools and platforms streamlining every aspect of the journey.
From virtual meetings to contactless payment systems, small business owners should embrace these technologies to optimize their travel experience.
According to a study by Phocuswright, 74% of business travelers expect to use more travel technology tools and services in the future.
Growing focus on sustainability
Sustainable business practices are increasingly important, with travelers and companies prioritizing eco-friendly options. Small business owners should consider the environmental impact of their travel choices and implement greener alternatives whenever possible.
A Booking.com survey reveals that 79% of global travelers consider sustainable travel important when choosing transportation and accommodation.
Remote work influencing business travel
The rise of remote work has impacted business travel, with many companies realizing that some tasks can be handled virtually. Small business owners should evaluate the necessity of each trip and consider whether a virtual meeting can achieve the same results.
In a 2021 PwC survey, 72% of executives believed that remote work would significantly impact business travel.
Cost-effective strategies for business travel
In the current economic climate, small business owners need to prioritize cost-effective travel solutions. This can include using budget airlines, booking accommodations in advance, and utilizing travel management platforms to track expenses.
A Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) report predicts that business travel spending will remain below pre-pandemic levels until 2025.
Employee well-being as a priority
Employee well-being is an essential factor in the success of any business trip. Small business owners should ensure that employees have access to comfortable accommodations, flexible travel schedules, and opportunities for relaxation.
According to a CWT survey, 89% of business travelers believe that their well-being directly impacts the success of their trip.
Bleisure travel on the rise
Bleisure travel, the combination of business and leisure, has become increasingly popular. Small business owners should consider incorporating leisure activities into their employees' travel schedules, as this can improve overall satisfaction and productivity.
A study by Expedia Group found that 60% of business travelers extend their trips to include leisure activities.
Adapting travel policies to the new normal
As the business travel landscape continues to evolve, small business owners should review and adapt their travel policies to reflect these changes. This can include updating insurance coverage, revising expense policies, and implementing new health and safety guidelines.
In a 2021 GBTA survey, 79% of travel managers said they were updating their travel policies to better reflect the post-pandemic environment.
Utilizing data for personalized experiences
Data-driven personalization is becoming increasingly important in the travel industry. Small business owners should leverage available data to create personalized travel experiences for their employees, including tailored accommodations, transportation, and activities.
According to Salesforce, 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.
Harnessing the power of travel management platforms
Travel management platforms offer an array of tools and features to help small business owners manage their travel expenses, bookings, and itineraries. By utilizing these platforms, small businesses can save time, streamline processes, and ensure compliance with travel policies.
A study by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) found that 47% of travel managers are increasing their use of technology to manage travel programs.
Focusing on safety and security
In a post-pandemic world, safety and security have become paramount concerns for business travelers. Small business owners should prioritize the well-being of their employees by staying up-to-date on travel advisories, implementing health and safety protocols, and providing access to resources such as emergency contacts and medical support.
According to a survey by International SOS, 82% of business travelers consider health and security risks when planning their trips.
In conclusion, the future of business travel in 2023 is being shaped by evolving trends and the lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By embracing new technologies, focusing on sustainability, cost-effective strategies, and employee well-being, small business owners can adapt to these changes and ensure successful, efficient business travel experiences.