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- Dec 21, 2022
2023 Outlook: Business Travel Bounces Back
Corporate travel budgets are recovering to pre-covid levels, our new survey finds. see where companies are spending in the year ahead..
After grinding to a near halt during the COVID-19 pandemic, business trips—and profits for hotels and airlines catering to higher-paying corporate clients—are bouncing back even beyond pre-pandemic levels, per a recent survey from Morgan Stanley Research.
Despite higher airfares and room rates, the survey of 100 global corporate travel managers found that many respondents believe their company's travel expenditures are already back to pre-pandemic levels and will continue to grow. The biggest demand is coming from small companies, which means lower-cost airlines may benefit the more than their bigger peers.
“Travel budgets are expected to see a noticeable improvement in 2022, with 2023 nearly back to ‘normal,’” says Ravi Shanker, an equity analyst covering North American transportation. “Most interesting is that nearly half of the respondents expect 2023 budgets to increase versus 2019 overall. And of those that expect an increase in budgets, the majority believe 2023 budgets will be between 6% to 10% higher than 2019.”
Overall travel budgets show an improvement over previous surveys, with 2023 budgets expected to be 98% of 2019 levels on average.
- Smaller companies lead demand for corporate travel. More than two-thirds (68%) of companies with under $1 billion in annual revenue expect travel budgets to increase next year, versus just 41% of companies with annual revenues over $16 billion. Similarly, 32% of smaller companies said travel budgets had returned to pre-pandemic levels compared with 23% of big firms. “This trend could likely favor low-cost carriers, as smaller enterprises tend to be more localized and require less long-haul travel,” says Shanker. “However, the legacy carriers with strong corporate exposure should see gains as well.”
Nearly a quarter of both large and small companies say their firms are already back to pre-COVID travel levels, and 34% anticipate a full recovery by the end of 2023.
ESG Rate of Change
Holiday budgets hit by inflation, seeing a peak for food prices.
- Airfares are higher, but that’s not a drag on bookings. On average, corporate airfares are expected to be about 9% higher than pre-pandemic prices. “Clearly the expected increase in corporate airfares is not having a major impact on corporate travel as passenger volume is expected to be basically flat versus 2019,” says Shanker.
- Room rates will continue to rise, though not as fast as they have recently. As of this October, market room rates had spiked 20% to 25% over 2019. Next year they will rise even more, though by an average of just 8%, say respondents (9% in the U.S. and U.K.; 5% to 6% in Latin America, Asia and Africa).
- Hotels face economic and competitive headwinds. While overall travel budgets are growing, companies are cutting costs by trading down when it comes to accommodations. (Historically, budget hotels outperform upscale lodging in tough economic times.) Alternative sources of accommodation also threaten traditional hotels, with 31% of respondents saying they intend to use short-term rental services in the next year.
- Virtual meetings aren’t going away. Almost 18% of corporate travel will be replaced with virtual meetings, falling slightly to 17% in 2024, suggesting a degree of permanence in the shift with companies recognizing the benefits of virtual meetings ranging from cost savings to lower carbon footprints. Expect companies providing collaboration software to gain from this shift.
For more Morgan Stanley Research insights and analysis on global travel, ask your Morgan Stanley representative or Financial Advisor for the full reports, “Global Corporate Travel Survey: Snapping Back" (Nov. 8, 2022) and “Global Corporate Travel Survey: 2023 Travel Budgets Nearly Back to 2019 Levels, but ~20% of Meetings Could Still Shift to Virtual” (Nov. 8. 2022). Morgan Stanley Research clients can access the reports directly here and here . Plus more Ideas from Morgan Stanley’s thought leaders.
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9 Business Travel Trends to Watch in 2024
Business travel is making a steady comeback after experiencing a massive decline due to the pandemic. As we move into 2024, companies have the opportunity to reimagine corporate travel.
What will work trips look like for travelers? How will priorities and corporate travel preferences shift based on recent lessons? What will travel budgets look like? While uncertainties remain, industry experts are seeing several business travel trends that will define corporate travel in 2024 and beyond.
How Have Business Travel Trends Evolved in Recent Years?
The landscape of business travel is transforming, reflecting changes in the global economy, workforce diversity, and a shift toward sustainability. Travel is becoming more global, inclusive, and technology-driven. Let's explore pivotal trends that have reshaped professional travel in the past.
- Increased Globalization : More professionals are traveling internationally, forging connections, attending global events, and exploring new markets, highlighting the interconnectedness of today's economy.
- Increased Diversity : As more women and minorities enter the workforce, the demographic of business travelers is diversifying, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity.
- More Sustainable Travel : Travelers are increasingly making environmentally conscious choices, opting for sustainable options like carbon offset flights and eco-friendly types of hotel rooms .
- Use of Technology : Technology is essential to simplifying logistics, keeping travelers connected, and ensuring seamless work continuity.
- Growth of “Bleisure” Travel : The blend of business and leisure travel is growing, with professionals extending trips for leisure to maximize their time away.
9 Global Business Travel Trends of 2024
As the business world evolves, so does the way professionals travel. Here's a snapshot of the top trends shaping global business travel in 2024:
1. The Demand for Business Travel is Back
Business travel is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels by 2024 as more and more companies resume in-person meetings and events. According to GBTA's Business Travel Index Outlook report, business travel spending will reach $1.4 trillion in 2024 and nearly $1.8 trillion by 2027.
In 2023, the industry has started to steady itself, primarily driven by the resurgence of face-to-face meetings and events and the gradual return of international business travel. Moving into 2024, we expect this momentum will continue to grow rapidly.
2. Bleisure Gets Bigger: Blending Business and Leisure Travel
Modern business travelers’ preferences are changing as they seek to combine business trips with leisure activities, such as extending their stay for a weekend getaway.
This trend is largely driven by a demographic shift toward a younger workforce. Younger employees are increasingly seeking opportunities to combine work-related travel with leisure activities, reshaping corporate travel dynamics.
This "bleisure" trend offers traveling employees a sweet deal, with flexible travel schedules and a chance to unwind. This means guests are booking rooms for longer than their events will run, which is great for hotels.
3. Increased Focus on Sustainability
Organizations and business travelers are becoming more aware of their environmental impact and are looking for sustainable travel options, such as flying carbon offset and staying in eco-friendly hotel room amenities .
Some trends in sustainable business travel include:
- Sustainable hotels
- Sustainable transportation options
- Paperless travel
- Updated sustainable travel policies
- Use of corporate travel sustainability reports
4. Increased Use of Technology
Technology is going to be incredibly important for business travel in the future, playing a role in the entire meetings and events process.
Venue sourcing platforms will help planners efficiently find and compare event spaces based on their needs without needing to conduct site visits for every option. Virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) are expected to become more widely used in business travel in 2024 for virtual site visits and training programs.
Corporate travel management platforms will optimize booking, provide traveler tracking, and give companies full visibility into their business travel spending. Further, businesses will rely heavily on end-to-end corporate travel technology for managing logistics, gaining insights, ensuring duty of care, and controlling costs.
AI and machine learning will power new business travel solutions that can analyze data to recommend hotels, predict flight delays, and more.
The business travel industry will continue to become increasingly technology-driven, with innovative solutions for venue sourcing, travel management, trip planning, expense reporting, and more taking center stage.
5. Growth of Secondary Markets
One major business travel trend for 2024 will be growth into emerging markets, especially in Asia and Africa.
The global business travel market is estimated to grow from $711.1 billion in 2021 to $2,997.2 billion by 2030, with a compound annual growth rate of 13.3%. Rapid expansion into emerging Asian and African markets will be a key driver propelling this growth.
India, Indonesia, and other Asian countries are among emerging business travel destinations. To serve this demand, business travel services are ramping up offerings in these markets, and alternative accommodations like home rentals are seeing huge growth to support business travelers.
Companies will need to adapt their travel programs and supplier partnerships to tap into these new regions.
6. Business Travelers Want Connectivity and Personalization
When it comes to technology, planners and travelers expect personalized experiences. In a tech-enabled world, guests of all ages want innovative and seamless digital solutions to simplify their travel and customize their stays.
This starts with the booking process. According to a recent survey , 80% of travelers say it's essential to book trips fully online. To that end. hotels should enable guests to easily view and filter amenities and services that will be available upon arrival.
On the road, 76% of global travelers appreciate travel apps that reduce friction and stress. Another 80% say utilizing personal devices seamlessly with on-property technology is key, from Wi-Fi to streaming apps.
Beyond messaging, travelers want mobile technologies they use daily, like touchless payments from phones or smartwatches, or tapping credit cards. The ability to leverage their own devices and platforms provides the personalized experience and connectivity travelers now expect.
7. Loyalty Programs Must Evolve Beyond Points to Experiences
Business travelers in 2024 crave more than just practical perks from their trips; they seek enriching experiences and meaningful rewards. Loyalty programs need to offer real benefits, enhancing travel beyond basic upgrades and conveniences.
Travelers want rewards that contribute to a memorable journey and strengthen their connection with the service provider. Practical benefits like late checkouts and room upgrades are expected; the true appeal lies in unique experiences, from exclusive events to complimentary services, adding a layer of luxury and personal value to their journeys.
8. Business Travel Will Shift to Purposeful, ROI-Focused Trips
In 2024, business travel will become more purposeful and ROI-focused. The days of casual briefcase trips are over. Now, every trip undergoes a careful evaluation of return on investment and return on expectation. Travel for clear ROI – like closing deals or contracts – will be more easily approved, while relationship-building trips will face more scrutiny.
With staffing shortages and supply chain issues, travel is less comfortable than before. Adding to this is the rising number of flight delays. All of this adds to travelers’ stress and threatens to undermine meeting experiences.
Particularly at hotels, staffing shortages can significantly impact the guest experience. In 2024, hotels will focus on empathy training and service to deliver exceptional experiences despite industry pressures.
Overall, brands that invest in people and purpose of travel will give business travel a new lease on life. ROI and "return on experience" will determine corporate travel policies, and only trips that justify the time and cost will get the green light.
9. Wellness Will Become Critical for Business Travelers
In 2024, wellness will play a crucial role in business travel programs. The pandemic has made travelers and companies prioritize health and immunity more than ever, and services at every price point must meet this demand with authentic, holistic wellness offerings.
From destination activities to hotel amenities to safety protocols, wellness cannot be an afterthought. It must be woven into every aspect of the business trip experience.
While safety remains paramount, companies are also factoring the “pleasure” aspect of travel into policies, recognizing activities that support mental health and enjoyment are beneficial for employees.
What Is the Future of Business Travel?
The future of business travel is bright. As the global economy settles and travel restrictions are lifted, we can expect to see even more people traveling for work. But business travel is not going to look the same as it did a few years ago or even in 2023.
Technology advancements in business travel will force hotels to use tools that reduce friction and streamline their travel operations while making their travel programs more sustainable.
Technology will define business travel planning , with travelers looking for more flexible and personalized options. Travelers will want to be able to book flights and hotels that allow them to change their plans at the last minute without incurring high fees. They will also be looking for travel experiences that are tailored to their individual needs and preferences.
Overall, the future of corporate travel will be defined by sustainable, personalized, mobile-centric, global experiences that keep travelers' health, safety, and productivity top of mind. Hotels and travel providers that can offer these things to business travelers will be the ones who succeed in the years to come.
Hope is a Senior Content Marketing Associate who has been with Cvent for more than two years. She has 8 years of experience producing content for corporations, small businesses, associations, nonprofits, and universities. As a content professional, she has created content for a wide range of industries, including meetings and events, government and defense, education, health, and more.
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Business Travel Trends in 2023
While doing business face-to-face is bouncing back after the pandemic, the corporate travel industry is still very much in recovery. Here’s what to expect from business travel trends in 2023.
>> Related: Corporate Travel Trends from Our Survey with Skift <<
Source: Bloomberg Law
While there is no longer a shortage of travelers, there are new challenges:
- 87% of hotels have persistent staff shortages ( source )
- The United States has a deficit of about 8,000 pilots, or 11% of the total workforce ( source )
- TSA is in a hiring crisis amid stagnant wages ( source )
- Airfares are rising 5x faster than the overall inflation rate ( source )
- Hotel rates are up 19%
The net impact on business travelers? One in four flights have been delayed in 2023, and travel is costing ~30% more per trip.
Higher travel costs and unreliable flights will strain businesses in 2023
Unfortunately inflation, staffing shortages, and uncertain flights will affect not just the traveling employee, but also their manager and the finance department.
Business travelers should:
- Plan for long check-in and security lines at the airport, even with TSA pre check.
- Prepare for flights to sell out quickly. Book as soon as you can.
- Expect flights to be delayed – be conservative with your itinerary, and don’t schedule optimistic meetings or airport transfers.
- Prepare to rebook canceled flights. Save your company’s travel agency number in your phone so you don’t have to wait in line with hundreds of other stranded passengers.
>>Related: The New Era of Corporate T&E <<
- Prepare to manually field far more policy-exceptions for expensive flights.
- Triage travel or re-allocate budgets – with each trip costing ~30% more, you’ll exhaust travel and expense budgets faster.
Finance departments should:
- Urgently update travel policies, pricing limits, and per diems to reflect 2023 pricing.
- Create dynamic policy parameters that aren’t capped at arbitrary or outdated prices.
- Partner with travel agencies that have seasoned agents available 24/7 to rebook canceled flights.
- Explore incentives and reward employees who book under budget . On average, we see businesses trim 30% of their travel budget after implementing rewards.
>> How employees travel, do business, and go to work has changed forever. Read The Definitive Guide to Post-Pandemic Business T&E <<
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Business travel, just like almost everything from pre-COVID life, is going back to normal
While consumers have fully returned to the skies, business travelers have been a bit scarcer in the post-pandemic years. But a new study by the Global Business Travel Association indicates the corporate road warriors are set to ride once more.
Overall spending on business travel is expected to surpass the pre-pandemic levels of $1.4 trillion in 2024—and grow to $1.7 trillion by 2027, the trade group forecasts. That’s a huge turnaround from recent years. In 2021, total spending on global business travel was a disappointing $697 billion , hampered by the Omicron variant and another spike in COVID cases.
Things began to pick up again last year, with spending coming in at $1.03 trillion. And the numbers are expected to grow another 32% this year, with an estimated total of over $1.3 trillion. That’s a big turnaround from bears who had claimed business travel would never return to normal .
While companies have had mixed luck in convincing workers to return to their desks, the fact that the oft-predicted recession has yet to arrive has spurred companies to send people back out on the road.
“The headwinds that were anticipated to impact the rebound of global business travel over the past year didn’t materialize and that is good news,” said Suzanne Neufang, CEO of the GBTA, in a statement . “This latest forecast now indicates an accelerated return to pre-pandemic spending levels sooner than anticipated as well as growth ahead in the coming years.”
Many other facets of life that once seemed unthinkable in the heart of the pandemic have once again become the norm, from dining at a restaurant to shaking hands with a stranger. Going to the movies and working five days a week in the office seem to be the major exceptions in post-pandemic life, but the surprise “ Barbenheimer ” blockbuster is challenging that view as well.
The travel industry relies heavily on business travelers, since they often book last-minute and are some of the industry’s biggest spenders when it comes to upgrades and perks, such as airport lounges.
Worldwide, Western Europe was the fastest growing region for business travel, with North America and Latin America also showing significant increases.
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Major trends for 2022 business travel
January 13, 2022
With the premise of being able to get back to traveling once again, 2022 will not only see people reconnecting, but also see the planning of a trip become as important as the trip itself. With considerations that simply weren’t in our lexicon pre-pandemic, like: travel corridors, quarantine, PCR tests and digital health passes, the 2022 traveler’s considerations, needs and wants have evolved. Let’s take a closer look at top three travel trends that will shape the travel industry this year and beyond.
- Tech & Data : Travel checklists for business travel across 2022 has fundamentally changed and requires travelers to adapt to be able to travel safely and within the rules. As entry regulations, quarantine and testing parameters vary and frequently change across borders – navigating this complexity is essential to eliminate a traveler’s pre-trip anxiety. This is where data and tech come into play. Accurate and digestible travel information on one app or platform, accessible across multiple channels is key. And it’s not just about providing accurate up-to-the minute data, but also jargon-free, navigable instructions for the traveler to follow, alongside access to the relevant forms and documentation – all available in one screen tap Tools like the publicly accessible CWT Travel Essentials are designed to do just that. Arming travelers with all the necessary restrictions, procedures, and requirements for their unique trip - based on origin, destination, travel dates and traveler nationality.
- Sustainability : Companies are expected to focus more on the social and environmental impact of their business travel programs post-pandemic. At the start of last year Accenture’s global travel surve y revealed that employees are prioritizing an employer’s environmental initiatives more than ever before, when making career choices. Furthermore COP26 last November pointed out that net-zero commitments have become the norm for corporates. Taking all that into account, there is obviously a need for a well-defined road map to reach net-zero. Low carbon initiatives, biofuel programs and carbon emission estimates for business travel will therefore feature prevalently across 2022 business travel strategies, where finding the sweet spot between operational efficiency, cost, employee wellbeing and sustainability is pivotal. CWT’s responsible travel consulting framework ECO was launched over a year ago to help companies achieve this, and build more sustainably balanced travel programs.
- Duty of care : Beyond these post-pandemic trends, as travel returns, travel managers and their travelers will continue to face other risks which need to effectively factor into a company's travel management program. Natural disasters, political and social conflict, crime (including cyber-crime) and economic risks can affect the safety, security and health of travelers, as well as the outcome of their trip. CWT’s Traveler Tracking Tool and itinerary-based safety, security and medical alerts in its myCWT web and app helps employees handle the unexpected and make informed, proactive decisions about today’s travel risks.
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15 Travel Trends That will Change the Industry
Forecasting the future is always tricky, and 2022 is no normal year. So, in our effort to look ahead, we recruited the help of several tourism industry veterans with longtime expertise in the airline, hotel, cruise and tour operator sectors.
Perhaps not surprisingly, those conversations focused frequently on the wide-ranging impact of COVID-19, along with the pandemic’s remarkable propensity to accelerate change.
In an era of so many ever-shifting challenges, however, one prediction appears to be certain for the tourism industry: It’s shaping up to be completely different from pre-pandemic times.
Trend 1: Flight Costs Will Increase
Talk with Peter Vlitas, executive vice president of Internova Travel Group , and he’ll tell you airline ticket prices are likely to climb.
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“Given the rise in fuel and the fact that fares were extremely low in 2020 and even up to now [in 2021], I think there will be a significant price increase in 2022,” said Vlitas, who oversaw airline sales and marketing for Protravel International for 17 years. “What will a consumer do? Will they stay with the mainline carriers? Will they look to connect where it’s cheaper? Will they go to a low-cost carrier? No one really knows.”
Trend 2: Business Travel May Boost Premium Economy
Although corporate travel is a long way from a full recovery , Internova’s Vlitas said the airline industry is seeing indications that many more people are now flying for work, and he expects that momentum to build next year.
That uptick is likely to help spur an increased number of premium economy cabins on planes, according to Vlitas, who expects the higher-end seats and value proposition to be popular among both vacationers and corporate travelers.
“I think the premium economy cabin is going to be very popular among leisure travelers, who want to spend a little more to get more space because we’re now accustomed to that due to the pandemic,” he said. “I also think it’s going to be very popular for businesses that want to send somebody on a trip, but because of the pandemic don’t necessarily want to spend the money for business class. Airlines that are now putting out these premium economy cabins are going to do very, very well. Watch that space.”
Trend 3: Canceled Flights Due to Labor Shortage
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released economic data on Oct. 22 indicating that the slow rebound of the global aviation industry — along with staffing and rehiring challenges — could mean the U.S. will finish 2021 with 3 million fewer airline industry employees than it had in 2019. Those vacancies and cuts may include not only fewer pilots and flight attendants, but also fewer ground crew workers, catering services positions and a host of other job vacancies and losses where employees previously supported the domestic air travel system.
Internova’s Vlitas said many airlines have found rehiring employees to be a challenge in recent months, and the vacant pilot and flight attendant positions have already had an impact.
When you have a shortage of crew, then you don’t have the possibility of saying, ‘Let me bring more flight attendants, let me bring another pilot.’ We’ve already seen some of that this year, where bad weather led to an unusual number of cancellations.
“What happens when you have weather that creates delays, and the delays make the crew ineligible to fly?” Vlitas asked. “When you have a shortage of crew, then you don’t have the possibility of saying, ‘Let me bring more flight attendants, let me bring another pilot.’ We’ve already seen some of that this year, where bad weather led to an unusual number of cancellations. Crews became ineligible, and airlines didn’t have backup crews to take the plane out. That will continue into 2022.”
Trend 4: Limited Hotel Services
In September, research from American Hotels & Lodging Association (AHLA) revealed that the U.S. hotel industry is likely to finish 2021 with 500,000 fewer jobs than in 2019, and that an additional 1.3 million jobs in restaurants, supply businesses and retail stores supported by hotels are also at risk.
Like airlines, hoteliers have been struggling to hire back employees . According to Ignacio Maza, executive vice president at Signature Travel Network, the resulting reduction in guest services at properties around the world is likely to continue.
RELATED: The Top Challenges Facing the Hotel Industry for 2021
“Daily housekeeping will be an option in many hotels but not necessarily the standard,” Maza said. “And things like 24-hour room service will also be curtailed in many properties. Guests are just going to have to be patient, and travel advisors are going to have to manage expectations prior to guests arriving on property.”
Trend 5: New Hotel Technology
Signature Travel’s Maza said the pandemic has definitely accelerated the use of technology throughout the hotel industry, and he expects that to continue, including more use of tech improvements by properties looking to combat employee shortages.
“We’re seeing more keyless doors, where you can check in with a QR code on your smartphone,” Maza said, noting these upgrades allow for fewer front desk staff. “At some hotels now, you have the ability to pick your room ahead of time and avoid stopping at the front desk entirely.”
It is imperative for hotels to figure out ways to put their best foot forward at a time when they are not fully staffed — and won’t be anytime soon.
Maza added that the pandemic has also accelerated the introduction of smart rooms, where guests can control the temperature, request room service, make dining reservations, ask for towels and more all from an app on their smartphone. There will always be guests who expect more personal service — especially at luxury properties — according to Maza, who noted new tech hasn’t been an immediate fix for some hotels.
“Hotels cannot convert to all this new technology overnight,” he said. “But the staff shortages are not going to go away anytime soon. It is imperative for hotels to figure out ways to put their best foot forward at a time when they are not fully staffed — and won’t be anytime soon.”
Trend 6: City Hotels Innovate With New Programming
Occupancies at urban hotels haven’t yet returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to Signature Travel’s Maza, but they are improving, and some of that is thanks to city properties reinventing themselves.
“They are coming up with different programming to attract people living in metropolitan areas who want to stay close to home in a hotel and enjoy the pool, the spa and the restaurant facilities,” Maza said, adding that many city hotels are creating new, imaginative programs to attract guests.
“For example, there is a wonderful hotel in Boston called The Newbury , and they are working with art curators and celebrated local art personalities so as part of your stay you can visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with a curator or have privileged access to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with an art expert,” Maza explained, noting he expects vacations close to home to remain popular. “Or you can have a tour of different food venues and restaurants in Boston with a food critic. Interesting new options like these almost turn the city hotel into a resort.”
Trend 7: Hotel Openings Will Increase
“Despite all the challenges the industry is facing, large hotel brands such as Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and InterContinental are all building hundreds of new hotels worldwide, ” Maza said. “These are opening come hell or high water. For example, St. Regis is building 29 new properties from now until 2023 or 2024, which is a big increase to its footprint. Hyatt is building 300 hotels worldwide.”
Trend 8: Expedition Cruise Products Will Grow
Much like river cruising boomed over the last decade, expedition cruise products are certainly exhibiting potential for similar dramatic growth.
And while the poles are top of mind for many consumers, warmer destinations that only small, expedition-style ships are capable of visiting have also captured the attention of a great many travelers.
Dan Blanchard, CEO of UnCruise Adventures, said his business is seeing signs of increased interest for itineraries from clientele attracted by expedition products.
“We’ve seen an uptick in new clients,” Blanchard said, noting UnCruise’s 2022 summer bookings are already ahead of 2019’s pace. “We’re actually seeing our traditional returning numbers come in, but we’re seeing a higher number of new bookings from people who haven’t sailed with us before. It’s telling us there is definitely a trend toward expedition and adventure travel.”
Trend 9: Permanent Changes May Come for the PVSA
Signed into law in 1886, the Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) requires foreign passenger vessels sailing between U.S. ports to make at least one stop in a foreign port. So, in February of 2020, when Canadian officials banned large cruise ships from the country’s ports, no foreign-flagged or -built cruise vessels could sail to Alaska from U.S. West Coast cities without violating the PVSA maritime law.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced a temporary exemption to the PVSA earlier this year that Congress passed in time to allow for an abbreviated cruise season in Alaska this summer, a move UnCruise’s Blanchard sees as both good and bad.
RELATED: Congress Passes Bill to Permit Alaska Cruising
“On one hand, as an Alaskan, I sit there and go, ‘I’m glad they did something to help revive my economy,’” he explained. “Long-term, I like to describe it to people as if you have a McDonald’s on one corner that is U.S. staffed and U.S. built. And on the other corner, you have a foreign McDonald’s built on foreign costs and not paying taxes and staffed with foreign employees. How could you compete? Essentially, as small, U.S.-flag operators, we’ve been doing that for 30 years.”
Talk of making changes to the PVSA has been a hot topic in Alaska and the cruise industry at large. Blanchard said he still believes a final version of those changes is yet to be decided, but he does expect Murkowski to introduce legislation in 2022 that would make lasting changes to the PVSA maritime law.
It is a bit of an unlevel playing field when you say, ‘Ships of all sizes that are foreign flagged can come in and compete in coast-wise operations.
“It is a bit of an unlevel playing field when you say, ‘Ships of all sizes that are foreign flagged can come in and compete in coast-wise operations,’” Blanchard said. “If this same bill were to be put forth long-term, I would object strongly.”
Trend 10: Sustainable, Authentic Travel Will Appeal to Americans
In research data released by Booking.com on Oct. 19, more than 53% of 1,000 Americans surveyed in an online poll this summer said it’s important that their vacation is beneficial to the local communities they visit.
That same Booking.com survey revealed that 64% of Americans polled want money they spend when traveling to go back to the local community they visit, and 65% of U.S. respondents want to have authentic experiences representative of the local culture they’re visiting.
Keith Sproule, executive director for Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) Philanthropy, said he’s been witnessing firsthand that increased demand for more conscientious vacations , fielding an unprecedented number of requests from travel consultants to include visits to one of A&K’s global philanthropic projects on itineraries.
“It’s a conscious desire to positively impact the destinations where they’re traveling,” Sproule said, offering as an example an American family of four planning to spend a day in Kenya, delivering water filters to schools.
RELATED: 5 Tour Operators That Are Working Toward a More Sustainable Travel Future
“We partner with an organization called LifeStraw, which makes water filters that remove 99.99% of bacteria and 99.99% of viruses,” Sproule said. “The women who run that activity on behalf of LifeStraw are just terrific animators. People have been sitting at home thinking about what’s important, and as they’re thinking about these bucket-list-type trips, they want to make sure conscious, responsible travel is part of their vacation.”
Trend 11: Racial Diversity in the Travel Industry Must Improve
A&K partnered this summer with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago on a jobs initiative program aimed at introducing inner-city kids to the travel and tourism industry, and Sproule said the project followed internal discussions initiated by A&K leadership, looking to apply the model of some of their overseas philanthropy to domestic issues.
“Historically, the travel industry has not been strong in terms of racial diversity ,” Sproule said, noting many in the travel trade have already initiated projects aimed at promoting more gender and racial diversity, and he expects to see many more.
One such effort is the Pathways Project, a Tourism Cares initiative launched in August in partnership with The Travel Corporation, TripSchool and the Media Arts Institute of Alabama to recruit and train historically underrepresented individuals to pursue careers in travel — especially as tour guides.
“Representation matters, and there is not enough of it in our industry,” said Richard Launder, director for The Travel Corporation USA, in a statement. “While this is true at all levels, it is especially so amongst our storytellers, guides, local specialists and travel directors — the faces of travel in this country. We are very proud to work with our other partners on the Pathways Project, an important step toward further change.”
Trend 12: LGBTQ Vacationers Are Still Facing Discrimination
Research data released by Booking.com in August found that 61% of 500 American LGBTQ travelers polled in a June online survey said they’ve experienced some form of discrimination when traveling, and 63% of those respondents said they’ve had less-than-welcoming or uncomfortable experiences at a property where they were staying.
According to those same Booking.com survey results, 70% said they have to consider their safety and well-being as an LGBTQ traveler when picking a destination, and more than 60% believe traveling as part of the LGBTQ community means some destinations are off limits.
Trend 13: Travel Advisors Are Hurting
The American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) estimates that prior to the pandemic, there were nearly 15,000 retail travel agency locations in the U.S. employing more than 108,000 people, and another 60,000 self-employed travel advisors working as independent contractors. According to Eben Peck, ASTA’s executive vice president of advocacy, more than 60,000 travel advisors had lost their jobs at the height of the pandemic.
Without any support provided, or pulling back on support that’s already been promised, you’re going to see more experienced, talented people leaving the industry because the business conditions don’t support them having a stable job.
“Some of those folks have been brought back,” Peck said. “But plenty haven’t.”
Recovery has been painfully slow for many travel agencies and advisors, with average revenue levels still down 82% as of July 2021 compared to 2019, according to ASTA member surveys.
“Without any support provided, or pulling back on support that’s already been promised, you’re going to see more experienced, talented people leaving the industry because the business conditions don’t support them having a stable job,” Peck said.
Trend 14: Will the SAVE Act Pass?
ASTA is urging federal lawmakers to pass the Securing Access for Venue Equity (SAVE) Act (H.R. 2120), a bill introduced earlier this year with bipartisan support that would make travel agencies eligible for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program, which was established by the Continuing Appropriations Act at the end of 2020.
Under this program, eligible applicants can qualify for grants of up to $10 million, equal to 45% of their 2019 gross revenue, according to Peck.
“We are fully aware the SVOG encountered challenges upon launch earlier this year, that its funding is running low and that the size and scope of future relief legislation is uncertain,” Peck explained. “That said, [the SAVE Act] is the only pending legislation that would provide direct support to travel agencies during our time of need.”
Trend 15: The Fight to Extend the Employee Retention Tax Credit
ASTA has also been busy lobbying lawmakers for an extension of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) , which provides a refundable tax credit of up to $7,000 per employee, per quarter, for businesses whose revenue has been reduced by at least 20% during the pandemic, as compared to 2019.
Some in Washington, D.C., have, however, been arguing to end the ERTC before its current expiration date of Dec. 31 this year. ASTA, on the other hand, has been urging federal lawmakers to let the ERTC not only run its course through the fourth quarter of 2021, but to also extend the legislation into 2022 and to provide extra benefits on a sliding scale for businesses suffering a 50%-75% loss in 2020 and 2021, according to Peck.
“We did a survey a couple of months ago,” Peck said. “And the question was, ‘If additional support is provided by Congress, I will restore my staffing levels to something close to 2019. Do you agree or disagree?’ The vast majority said they agree.
The sense I get is the workload is there now for agencies and advisors; the bookings are there. It’s just the revenue is not there. Providing a little bit of support to this part of the travel industry now will mean more people back on the payroll and fewer people on unemployment programs.”
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Top 9 Travel Trends & Innovations in 2023
Are you curious about which travel trends & startups will soon impact your business? Explore our in-depth industry research on 3 500+ travel startups & scaleups and get data-driven insights into technology-based solutions in our Travel Innovation Map!
Technological advancements in the travel industry meet the growing demand for personalized experiences, safety, and sustainability. Post the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging travel trends mark a shift towards contactless travel through digital payments, self-check-ins, and more. Additionally, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain are automating various hospitality and travel-related operations. For instance, smart hotels make use of internet-connected devices to remotely control rooms. Further, businesses offer virtual tours by adopting extended reality (XR) technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Travel companies also leverage data analytics to personalize marketing. At the same time, traveler assisting solutions like chatbots and voice technology aid them in booking accommodation and optimizing journeys. These travel trends improve the overall profitability of the tourism industry and enable it to make operations more sustainable and safe.
Innovation Map outlines the Top 9 Travel Trends & 18 Promising Startups
For this in-depth research on the Top 9 Trends & Startups, we analyzed a sample of 18 global startups and scaleups. The result of this research is data-driven innovation intelligence that improves strategic decision-making by giving you an overview of emerging technologies & startups in the travel industry. These insights are derived by working with our Big Data & Artificial Intelligence-powered StartUs Insights Discovery Platform , covering 2 500 000+ startups & scaleups globally. As the world’s largest resource for data on emerging companies, the SaaS platform enables you to identify relevant startups, emerging technologies & future industry trends quickly & exhaustively.
In the Innovation Map below, you get an overview of the Top 9 Travel Trends & Innovations that impact travel & tourism companies worldwide. Moreover, the Travel Innovation Map reveals 3 500+ hand-picked startups, all working on emerging technologies that advance their field.
Top 9 Travel Trends
- Artificial Intelligence
- Immersive Tourism
- Contactless Travel
- Big Data & Analytics
- Post-Pandemic Tourism
- Tour Premiumization
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Tree Map reveals the Impact of the Top 9 Travel Trends
Based on the Travel Innovation Map, the Tree Map below illustrates the impact of the Top 9 Travel Industry Trends in 2023. Startups and scaleups are enabling contactless travel using technologies like biometrics, radio-frequency identification (RFID), and near-field communication (NFC). This is due to increasing health and hygiene concerns post the pandemic. The use of AI in tourism ensures hassle-free trip planning while AR and VR allow tourists to virtually visit various locations and excursions. IoT increases visibility into tourism industry operations and allows passengers to track their luggage more efficiently. Further, the demand for personalized and luxurious travel is rising. Several startups enable recreational space travel as well as offer sustainable travel options to passengers.
Global Startup Heat Map covers 3 635 Travel Startups & Scaleups
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights the global distribution of the 3 635 exemplary startups & scaleups that we analyzed for this research. Created through the StartUs Insights Discovery Platform, the Heat Map reveals that the US, Europe, and India see the most activity.
Below, you get to meet 18 out of these 3 635 promising startups & scaleups as well as the solutions they develop. These 18 startups are hand-picked based on criteria such as founding year, location, funding raised, and more. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
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Top 9 Travel Trends in 2023
1. artificial intelligence.
Hotels use AI-powered intelligent chatbots to offer personalized and quick resolutions for traveler inquiries. Similarly, travel chatbots ease accommodation booking and collect customer reviews, which allow potential travelers to make informed decisions. Additionally, AI-based robots automate hotel disinfection and deliver room service for an enhanced customer experience. They guide travelers at the airport and assist in luggage handling. AI-driven facial recognition technology verifies a traveler’s identity at airports, improving airport security and providing a faster alternative to paper-bound processes. Many startups also develop trip planning solutions for travelers to optimize their journey and personalize their travel experience.
Travel Professor develops a Travel Chatbot
UK-based startup Travel Professor offers an AI-enabled chatbot for travelers. The startup’s chat widget software monitors multiple flight deals and notifies users when their preferences match. It also provides travel destination recommendations and flight price alerts. This allows travelers to book economical flights and have a budget-friendly tourism experience.
XOKind facilitates Travel Planning
US-based startup XOKind leverages AI to create Una , a smart travel planning app. It analyzes data from millions of customer reviews. Based on the analysis, it suggests activities and destinations as per the user’s preference. Una also offers personalized recommendations about restaurants or hotels to travelers. This enables tourists to make data-driven decisions and ensure an untroubled and safe experience.
2. Immersive Tourism
Immersive tourism addresses the increasing demand for meaningful experiences among travelers. It utilizes AR, VR, and mixed reality (MR) to enhance the travel experience and even provide virtual journeys. VR creates a simulation of original locations via a computer-generated environment, enabling tourists to virtually visit destinations before traveling. It also offers travelers a 360-degree tour of the place of interest. AR, on the other hand, enhances the travel experience through interactive elements like navigation maps and ads. Further, travel companies utilize AR and VR-based gamification to spike tourist attractions.
EaziTrip offers AR-based Local Tour
Australian startup EaziTrip makes a travel guide application. The company’s app uses AR to offer local information in real-time. This enables easy navigation for the tourists. The app incorporates translational tools to provide travelers with comprehensible information about their destination. It also recommends local shops, restaurants, and other attractions.
AR Tour makes AR Glasses
Italian startup AR Tour offers AR-powered tours. The startup’s AR glasses superimpose reconstructed images of archaeological ruins to show how the site originally was. Its tour informs the tourists about the site’s history and significance via an audio-visual package. Moreover, the startup designs lightweight AR glasses to prevent motion sickness among tourists, improving convenience.
3. Internet of Things
IoT generates ample data that tourism companies leverage to personalize services in their subsequent visits. Hotels use IoT sensors to enable smart rooms that automate room lighting, temperature, and ambiance control, enhancing guest comfort. These sensors also detect vacant rooms to adjust appliances and save energy. This reduces building carbon footprint and energy costs. Further, startups use IoT to send location-specific information to customers. This includes tracking luggage and alerting travelers in case of theft or misplacement. Lastly, airlines integrate IoT-based solutions into seats to measure passenger temperature or heart rate for proactive health management.
Altitude enables Smart Hotels
New Zealand-based startup Altitude creates an IoT-based hotel software and hardware to develop smart hotels. The startup makes self-service kiosks to automate reservations, room up-gradation, payments, as well as check-in and check-out. Its hotel management platform further enables contactless engagement with guests. Additionally, Altitude’s mobile keys allow guests to open doors using mobile phones, providing convenience and saving time for travelers.
Smart Tour provides Smart Itineraries
Brazilian startup Smart Tour offers smart itineraries using IoT and quick response (QR) codes. The startup recommends travel routes and destinations based on the user’s preference in real-time. This facilitates a seamless experience for travelers. Besides, the user-generated data enables tourism managers to better understand consumer behavior and indulge in proximity marketing. The startup also offers a contact tracing solution to monitor COVID-19 infected travelers and ensure public safety.
4. Contactless Travel
Although contactless travel initially began to provide a smooth experience for tourists, the pandemic is making it a necessity to ensure the safety of travelers. Contactless recognition technologies like retina scanning replace passports and other travel documents. This quickens passenger identification and avoids long airport queues. Travel companies offer QR codes for tourists to access the information of interest on their mobile devices, increasing engagement. Further, hotels facilitate contactless self-check-ins that enable visitors to lodge services before their arrival. Hotels and restaurants also offer contactless payment modes to visitors for quicker and safer transactions.
Loxe designs Smart Hotel Keys
US-based startup Loxe makes smart mobile keys for hotels. The startup’s smartphone app replaces key cards with contactless mobile keys that allow users to unlock doors using smartphones. It also reduces operational costs incurred in the manufacturing of conventional keys or plastic cards. Moreover, the startup designs a Bluetooth retrofit module that converts normal door locks into mobile-ready door locks. This allows hotel owners to easily convert their existing locks into smart ones without additional expenses while improving guest safety and convenience.
Avendi provides Contactless Payment
Singaporean startup Avendi offers contactless and cashless payments for travelers. The startup allows tourists to accumulate expenses throughout their trip and pay at the end of the journey. Avendi’s app utilizes QR codes to add all the billed expenses and shown through its dashboard. The user settles the tab amount in the preferred currency, preventing the inconvenience of cash withdrawal or credit card payments.
5. Big Data & Analytics
Big data empowers travel companies with customer trends for strategic marketing. It analyzes traveler behavior to offer personalized recommendations for booking hotels, cabs, flights, or tickets. Big data and analytics solutions also predict future demand, enabling hotels and airlines to identify high demand periods and maximize revenue. Another use of big data is to detect cyber fraud via advanced analysis of transactional data. This way, travel companies ensure the safety of sensitive customer information like credit card details and biometric data.
CheckandPack creates a Travel Platform
Dutch startup CheckandPack offers a big data travel platform. It runs marketing campaigns to gather traveler data and understand tourism trends. Based on these insights, the platform enables businesses to approach travelers with a customized appeal. It also provides travelers with holiday planning.
3Victors provides Travel Data Analytics
US-based startup 3Victors offers travel data analytics. The startup’s product, PriceEye Suite , proactively monitors the prices of numerous airlines to provide insights into competitor prices. It creates a dashboard to display travelers’ location of interest, allowing travel airlines to better manage their revenue and pricing strategy.
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6. Post-Pandemic Tourism
As travel restrictions are relaxed, companies are ensuring the safety and hygiene of travelers to rebuild customer trust. For example, hotels follow protective measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, room disinfection, and more. Travel companies also verify passenger health information using digital health passports. Moreover, the onset of COVID-19 mandated most people to work from home. Consequently, post-pandemic travel trends witness a rise in combining remote working with tourism. Startups also offer facilities such as internet connectivity and a quiet ambiance for a coherent work experience.
GOPASS Global enables Pre-travel Risk Management
Singaporean startup GOPASS Global provides a travel risk analytics platform against COVID-19. It analyzes the biosecurity risk elements involved in a trip, such as border restrictions, quarantine requirements, airport type, and airline transit points or seating in real-time. This allows travelers to assess risk factors and plan their trips accordingly. Moreover, the startup creates world maps displaying information regarding COVID-prone areas, testing areas, and vaccine coverage. This provides travelers with a preview of the current situation, allowing them to ensure safety during business and leisure travel.
Workcations enables Work from Anywhere
Indian startup Workcations provides properties at tourist destinations for remote-working individuals. It offers amenities like internet connectivity, food, and a quiet ambiance, allowing tourists to work in a peaceful environment without hindrance. This increases employee productivity, motivation, and retention.
7. Tour Premiumization
The demand for hyper-personalization in travel is increasing. Tourists seek new experiences and explore different cultures. Tour premiumization offers luxury travelers a tailored experience with intuitive services. Travel startups offer health and wellness trip packages to de-stress tourists. Health-enhancing retreats also offer nutritious food for detoxification. Further, space tourism allows people to travel to space for leisure or scientific research. Lastly, startups leverage travel membership or subscription models to enhance customer loyalty and cultivate close customer relationships.
STOKE provides Space Tour
US-based startup STOKE facilitates space travel using everyday-operable rockets. The startup’s rockets are reusable and deliver satellites to any desired orbit. This enables on-demand access to space, paving way for space tours for exploration, recreation, and research. The startup also emphasizes the economical and rapid development of its hardware for feasible spacecraft launches, advancing space tourism.
Origin offers Travel Personalization
Dutch startup Origin provides premium travel personalization to tourists. The startup utilizes machine learning and travel curators to plan creative vacations. It also arranges flights and accommodation for travelers. Further, the startup measures the carbon output of itineraries and offers sustainable tourism options.
Responsible travel minimizes the negative impact of tourism on the environment and sustains the well-being of local communities. Ecotourists actively seek to minimize their carbon footprint while traveling. To aid this, many startups develop sustainable transport modes, ecolodges, and solar-powered resorts. Additionally, airline passengers offset carbon emissions when booking flights. Local tourism boosts small businesses economically and generates more employment opportunities. It also emphasizes minimum littering, which lowers pollution and the time spent on cleanups.
Jet-Set Offset simplifies Flight Carbon Offset
US-based startup Jet-Set Offset creates a carbon-offsetting platform for air travel. The startup partners with non-profit organizations working against climate change and connects them with travelers. Each time travelers book flight tickets via the startup’s platform, Jet-Set Offset contributes a certain amount per mile for their journey to environmental organizations. This way, the passenger’s journey promotes mileage-based donations to offset carbon emissions.
The Green Stamp facilitates Ethical Wildlife Tour
Dutch startup The Green Stamp provides a platform to book ethical wildlife tours. It curates tours based on the tourists’ inclinations toward certain locations or wildlife. Exploration of these projects allows travelers to indirectly contribute to their cause as these wildlife projects donate to the welfare of local communities and the environment.
Blockchain provides the travel industry with operational transparency and security. One of the primary applications of blockchain is to ensure traceable payments, especially in the case of international travel. This improves the level of trust among the transacting parties. Many travel firms create customer loyalty programs where travelers exchange their points for cryptocurrency. Blockchain also increases data storage security, mitigating information leaks.
Upswing facilitates Guest Profiling
Indian startup Upswing creates AURA , a blockchain-powered platform for guest profiling. It provides a holistic view of guests, their preferences, and purchase patterns. The platform associates a score with each guest and suggests improvements in their service. This facilitates hotels to provide a personalized experience to their guests and, in turn, increase sales.
UIQ Travel develops a Solo Traveling App
US-based startup UIQ Travel develops a blockchain-based app to connect solo travelers. It discovers people with shared interests and suggests tours or attractions. Such hyper-personalized recommendations assist in experience discovery and also increase traveler engagement.
Discover all Travel Trends, Technologies & Startups
Tourism, although severely impacted by the pandemic, now continues to rapidly grow across the globe. Post-pandemic trends indicate an increasing emphasis on hygiene and safety during travel. The industry is witnessing the widespread adoption of disruptive technologies like AI, XR, IoT, and blockchain. The travel industry utilizes big data to understand traveler trends for targeted marketing. The transition to ecotourism is accelerating as businesses integrate zero-emission transit and carbon offset programs to reduce their carbon footprint.
The Travel Trends & Startups outlined in this report only scratch the surface of trends that we identified during our data-driven innovation and startup scouting process. Among others, personalization, decarbonization, and travel safety will transform the sector as we know it today. Identifying new opportunities and emerging technologies to implement into your business goes a long way in gaining a competitive advantage. Get in touch to easily and exhaustively scout startups, technologies & trends that matter to you!
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The Business Traveler Trends for 2022
The travel industry has been forecasting and reforecasting the return to business travel. What is rarely discussed is how the traveler’s expectations fit into these equations and what is trending by way of new approaches and planning for travel. Many companies are easing their approval parameters for both domestic and international travel while doing everything reasonably possible to ensure the safety and health of their employees.
A recent global distribution study identified a growing desire to travel with 75% of business travelers hoping to take a trip in 2022. Placing a high value on face-to-face interactions, the majority of business travelers put more importance on the in person relationship building and less on any inconvenience of wearing a mask or reduced hotel amenities.
Fewer Trips – Longer Duration : Business travelers are concentrating on a more coordinated approach to effective travel planning. Travelers are reducing the number of trips, and extending their stay an extra day or two to meet with more clients or colleagues, as well as build out events to maximize their time away from home. The study also identified that one in three business travelers expect to add a leisure element to at least one of their trips this year.
More Flexibility : Understanding we are in an ever-shifting dynamic of health and safety challenges, airlines are encouraging business travel and as such, are continuing to simplify and reduce costs for last minute cancellations and modifications to travel bookings. Travelers plan for last minute adjustments, and the industry is responding to make that simple while reducing the commercial impact to their companies.
Increased adoption of In-Policy Hotel and Car Bookings : As a general trend over the years, air booking compliance within policy management was enforced, however many travelers were left to their own booking preferences for hotel and car. With the reduced rental car inventory and shifts in hotel available amenities and safety protocols, more travelers are taking advantage of their corporate agreements and policy guidelines of their travel program, which in turn is increasing the policy guidelines with their preferred booking channels (whether online via Concur, or through a TI travel associate).
Adjusting to Changes in Hotel Services : The first time a traveler, whether leisure or business, returns to their room and it was not cleaned or serviced can be quite a shock. However, with many properties, these service options are not standard, but require special requests. Travelers are learning and adapting to sustainability measures of limiting the use of towels, and the daily bedding changes, and understanding that for extended stays of more than two nights, they should request for the room to be cleaned at least one time during their stay.
Mobile Access to Research Prior to Travel : Travelers are excited to get back on the planes, as well as explore the areas to which they are traveling. Prior to the pandemic, not much thought was given to research entry requirements for international beyond if their passport was current or if a Visa was required. Now they have the ability to easily access and research the destinations to have the comfort and confidence prior to that international trip.
Domestic travelers are also embarking on more pre-trip research, including neighborhood opportunities for exercise, or restaurant options as many hotels are just starting to ramp back up their buffet and restaurant options.
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10 Future Business Travel Trends & Predictions for 2022/2023 and Beyond
Corporate travel remains a crucial aspect of a business. Despite advancements in technology, business travel trends indicate that there’s no substitute for face-to-face interactions. Travel can also support business initiatives for networking, skills development, and recruitment. However, the presence of COVID-19 has thrown a wedge at some of those travel plans, which prompts the importance of risk assessments and possible changes in future travels.
In this business travel forecast, you can read all about the direction the industry is moving in. We’ve also included some business travel statistics so you can make data-driven decisions in your company’s business practices.
Business Travel Trends Table of Contents
- Business is almost always mixed with pleasure
- Unconventional accommodations are in
- Self-booking is becoming the norm
- More flexible corporate travel policies
- Technology continues to revolutionize corporate travel
- The rise of AI, virtual reality, and intelligent assistants
- Blockchain: the future of business travel
- Business travel as a perk
- Slower years for corporate travel and business tourism
- New travel markets are emerging
The business travel industry experienced a decline of 52% during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the recent rollout of vaccines, business travel spending is expected to rise to $842 billion in 2021, which accounts for a 21% increase (Reuters, 2021). The majority of businesses have even reported that they are considering resuming their corporate travel plans for 2021, although there are no definite plans yet (GBTA, 2021).
One of the major changes to anticipate is the rise of a new type of corporate traveler. Members of Generation Z are taking over the workplace, and predictions point to this age bracket making up around 40% of the workforce by 2021 (Connecteam, 2020). At the end of 2024, business travel spending is expected to reach $1.4 trillion and make a full recovery from the pandemic in the succeeding year (Reuters, 2021). By this time, millennials and Gen Z-ers will be doing much of the traveling given their respective shares in the labor force.
This shift in the demographics of corporate travelers has influenced the global business travel forecast in the coming years. Many business travel trends center around technology and its abilities to enable self-service and make travel seamless.
1. Business is almost always mixed with pleasure
The rise of bleisure travel proves to be one of the most significant outcomes of the demographic shift in corporate travel, and this trend is expected to continue in the midst of COVID-19 vaccinations. With the workforce becoming younger, more employees are looking to do more than work during their trips away from the office.
Although 92% of organizations suspended business travel during the early months of the pandemic, pre-pandemic figures suggest that 90% of millennial business travelers added components of leisure to their affairs (National Geographic, 2020). This could very well occur within 2021 as COVID-19 vaccines are now available.
Bleisure travelers go on these trips once every two to three months. More than half of international business travelers plan to extend business trips to accommodate leisure activities at their destination.
Companies in the tourism industry can capitalize on this trend by focusing their marketing campaigns on local tourist attractions and events. If you’re more concerned of your employees not doing enough business, though, time tracking software can help ensure sufficient productivity.
- More employees are taking bleisure trips.
- Bleisure travelers go on trips at least every quarter.
- Business travelers are also willing to extend business trips for leisure activities.
2. Unconventional accommodations are in
Another business travel trend influenced by the new generation of corporate travelers is the growing popularity of unconventional accommodations. Business travelers have become more open to considering staying somewhere other than traditional chain hotels. More are opting to stay in apartments and other accommodations that have a more homey feel.
Smaller boutique hotels and home-like accommodations, like those offered by Airbnb, enjoy increased popularity among business travelers today. For instance, over 70% of millennial corporate travelers had stayed in a vacation rental during business trips (American Express, 2019).
These non-traditional accommodations provide opportunities for exploring the destination in new ways. More travelers also stay further away from the city center, as comfort and proximity to leisure activities are prioritized.
- More business travelers opt to stay in home-like accommodations.
- Small boutique hotels and home rentals have the edge over traditional chain hotels.
- Additionally, more corporate travelers prioritize comfort and proximity to leisure activities.
3. Self-booking is becoming the norm
More corporate travelers opt to book travel options and accommodations on their own. According to recent surveys, 68% of employees book business travel through tools not approved by the company instead of seeking the services of a travel agent (Expedia Group, 2021). After all, there are numerous self-booking options that business professionals can leverage. This trend towards self-booking may also be another offshoot of the generational shift in corporate travelers. After all, millennials prefer self-booking when they travel so that they can find flights and accommodations that meet their preferences.
In some cases, corporations push for self-enablement and provide tools that help employees resolve issues. When these self-service tools fail, though, corporate travelers will continue to rely on customer service from an agent. This is particularly true when emergencies arise, like in cases of canceled flights. Corporate travelers also tend to want to rely on a human for support in more complex issues like visas.
- Business travelers, especially millennials, prefer the self-booking process.
- However, business travelers will continue to rely on human support for complex issues and travel emergencies.
Most Popular Online Booking Software
Here are some of the best online booking software that you can choose from:
- YouCanBook.me is an online booking software that connects customer bookings right into your Google or Microsoft calendars. It also allows you to personalize your booking page and display your availability for multiple locations.
- Acuity Scheduling provides a user-friendly online booking platform to help your clients self-book their appointments. It lets you create branded and customized confirmations, reminders, and follow-ups to drive more client bookings.
- Bookeo is an industry-leading online booking software perfect for service providers, schools, and tour companies. It provides you with advanced marketing tools to help you maximize profit.
- SimplyBook.me lets you build your own personalized and mobile-optimized booking website. It allows you to integrate the system with your existing site or with your Facebook and Instagram pages.
- Checkfront easily handles customer bookings in a unified toolset. With its advanced rule system, it lets you enforce and set your own booking rules.
4. More flexible corporate travel policies
When was the last time you looked at your company’s corporate travel policy? There’s a good chance that some of these policies need tweaking. Recent business travel trends indicate that more corporate travelers are “going rogue (RateGain, 2019).” This means travelers are now more likely to go outside employer-approved channels when booking properties and transportation for their trips.
Corporate travelers need a booking process that provides better availability and allows them to choose from more property and rate options. Combined with emerging preferences for unconventional accommodations, the need for more varied booking options pushes corporate travel policies to become more flexible.
The good news is that companies that offer a plethora of travel options enjoy higher adoption rates for their corporate travel programs (TripActions, 2019). Allowing employees to make choices that align with their needs and preferences encourages a culture of transparency and reinforces trust between employers and employees.
Worried about reining in travel spending while empowering business travelers to make their own choices? Technology now allows companies to adopt a dynamic travel policy. A dynamic business travel policy adjusts according to available options at the time of booking. This way, business travelers will still be able to make their own choices while complying with company policies.
As far as flexibility is concerned, video meetings and teleconferencing have also become alternatives during the pandemic, with 31% of employees stating that remote setups are just as effective as business travel (Forbes, 2020).
Why did you book accommodations outside of approved channels?
Source: Expedia, 2018
- More corporate travelers are going rogue, i.e., not using employer-approved channels, during the booking process.
- Corporate travel policies are becoming more flexible.
- Dynamic travel policies also have a higher adoption rate.
5. Technology continues to revolutionize corporate travel
Technology plays a central role in the global business travel forecast. Mobile technology currently accounts for 39% of hotel bookings and 22% of airfare bookings (FCM Travel Solutions, 2019). These numbers will probably grow with the upcoming upgrade to 5G wireless internet. Also, once the COVID-19 travel restrictions ease up, this technological trend will likely continue.
International business travelers can expect to spend less time waiting in airport lines, thanks to facial recognition technology that speeds up immigration protocols and border control procedures. Other biometric technologies seeing increasing use at airports include fingerprint and retinal scanning.
Trip disruption technology (CWT, 2019) is also evolving to minimize the hassle caused by delayed flights and trains. Travel technology providers can now deliver real-time trip updates to travelers’ mobile devices. This way, business travelers can adjust their plans accordingly and minimize downtime.
Faster in-flight internet access is also in the works. Travel suppliers and mobile network operators are working together to bring high-speed internet into the cabin. With this technology, employees can stay productive even during long-haul flights .
Technology has also moved beyond airports and train stations to make business travel easier. Business travelers can now enjoy automated check-in and check-out processes. These technologies allow travelers to pick up their room key upon arriving at the hotel and head straight to their room. Centralized billing can save travelers from the hassle of having to compute expense costs separately.
- Upcoming upgrades to 5G wireless internet may result in more mobile bookings in the future.
- Facial recognition and biometric technologies will also reduce waiting time for international travelers.
- Trip disruption technology helps corporate travelers adjust to delays in the journey.
6. The rise of AI, virtual reality, and intelligent assistants
More advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality are poised to bring more changes to the business travel industry. Travel suppliers can use these technologies to discover business travelers’ preferences and take advantage of upselling opportunities. Virtual reality is also predicted to enable personalization, allowing guests to adjust rooms based on their taste (FCM Travel Solutions, 2019).
The coming years also pose many possibilities for intelligent assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Google Now. These assistants are able to handle more complex tasks (Wishup, 2019), like provide updates to itineraries during disruptions and recommend services. All these technologies will greatly benefit business travelers looking to maximize their time during the journey.
Want to learn more about artificial intelligence? Here are some artificial intelligence statistics you may find interesting.
- Artificial intelligence and virtual reality can be used to discover travelers’ preferences.
- Siri and Cortana will soon be able to provide itinerary updates.
7. Blockchain: the future of business travel
Blockchain is also expected to improve security for corporate travelers by 2021. Blockchain’s built-in security protocols make it the perfect technology for making travel as convenient and seamless as possible (Revfine, 2020).
The technology makes data storage and access easier. The constant availability of information is crucial since the travel industry relies on the information exchange between companies. For instance, travel agents pass customer information to hotels and airlines.
Blockchain makes it possible to collect every bit of information involved in the travel process (Amadeus, 2019) – from traveler preferences to flight prices and hotel rates – into a file that’s duplicated across multiple computers. And since the technology decentralizes data and arranges it into permanent blocks, blockchain offers more security. Travel information is always available and safe from user errors or cybersecurity attacks.
Businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry can also take advantage of blockchain technology for luggage tracking, identification services, and customer loyalty schemes.
Outside the realm of travel, blockchain can even be leveraged for other complex tasks like COVID-19 vaccine distribution (Mobi Health News, 2020). Technology this flexible will probably have niftier applications for business travel in the near future.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin may also soon be accepted as payments by travel companies. If you’d like to learn more about cryptocurrencies, you can check out our guide and FAQs on Bitcoin .
- Blockchain can greatly improve the security of travel information
- Blockchain can also ensure that every bit of travel information is always accessible.
- Likewise, this technology can ease luggage tracking and support customer loyalty plans.
8. Business travel is a perk
Another important aspect of the business travel forecast is the fact that most employees now see corporate travel as a perk (TripActions, 2019). According to surveys, international business travelers consider travel as valuable to professional and personal growth.
Making up the largest segment of the workforce, millennials are also more willing to travel, as they consider it an enriching experience. Similarly, employees who travel often feel more empowered and engaged. Travel can even help improve confidence and interpersonal relationship skills.
More companies are acknowledging these effects and seeing the link between business travel. A robust, dynamic corporate travel program can be used as a tool to encourage employee engagement , improve employee retention, and drive organizational growth.
- Most employees consider corporate travel a perk.
- Millennials consider business travel an enriching experience.
- Frequent business travelers also feel more empowered and engaged.
9. Slower years for corporate travel and business tourism
Business travel growth can finally begin after a serious downturn in 2020 due to the pandemic (Reuters, 2021). And the industry is even expected to make a full recovery. However, certain practices in the age of COVID-19, such as video conferencing and other remote alternatives, will likely stick since 31% of organizations find them just as effective as actual trips (Forbes, 2020) with much lower costs.
In fact, 43% of business travelers already expect that they will travel less post-pandemic (Forbes, 2020). Besides financial reasons, the pandemic has ravaged economies and not all countries have shown an adequate response to the continuing spread of the coronavirus. Furthermore, the rollout of vaccines is concentrated in developed nations (BMJ, 2020), thus development projects in developing nations would likely be canceled or at least met with stiff travel restrictions.
As such, 61% of employees would rather leverage video conferencing platforms than physically venture out to other lands (Forbes, 2020).
- Global business travel spending is growing, but not as much as during previous years.
- Political tensions and trade issues have also contributed to this slower growth.
- Improvements in political issues will support weakening travel prices.
10. New travel markets are emerging
New countries are taking bigger shares of the market in business travel spending. More corporate travelers are flying to India and Indonesia, with these countries showing 11.3% and 8.7% in market growth, respectively. Surpassing South Korea in business travel spending in 2017, India is expected to break into the top 5 business travel markets by 2022 (GBTA, 2018). A report suggests that Asia has become the world’s largest business travel market (Hospitalitynet, 2019), even though the United States outpaces everyone in spending by a wide margin (WTTC, 2021).
Sweden and Norway, with respective market growth rates of 6.8% and 6.6 %, are quickly becoming popular business travel destinations as well (GBTA, 2018). China, however, will continue to dominate the business travel market, with a projected annual business travel spend of $129 billion by 2022.
Source: WTTC 2021
- India and Indonesia are becoming popular business travel destinations.
- Moreover, India will most likely be in the top 5 business travel markets by 2022
- Despite new markets, China will continue to be the top business travel market in the next couple of years.
Take advantage of these business travel trends
Travel remains an important business aspect for many companies today. If your employees are frequent travelers, it will be helpful to stay ahead of these business travel trends. This way, you can prepare for these changes and adjust your corporate travel policy accordingly, especially with COVID-19 still looming.
Information in these trends is also useful to travel management companies and businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry. Hotel owners or rental car companies can use these travel trends to gain insights into their customer base. These trends also present an excellent opportunity to adopt new business practices.
Many of these travel trends center around technology. It definitely won’t hurt to look into new software and applications that will give you that technological edge.
Want to get cracking on modifying your current business processes? Check out our article on the benefits of using business process management software .
- Amadeus (2019). The Future of Business Travel . Retrieved from Amadeus
- American Express (2019). Trends on Business Travel’s Biggest Generation: Millennials . Retrieved from American Express
- BMJ (2020). Covid-19: Many poor countries will see almost no vaccine next year, aid groups warn . Retrieved from BMJ
- Expedia Group (2021). Business Travel Trends: How TMCs are keeping up with the corporate traveler . Retrieved from Expedia Group
- FCM Travel Solutions (2019). Business Travel 2020: The Trends & Tech that will Shape the Future of our Industry . Retrieved from FCM Travel Solutions
- GBTA (2018). GBTA Forecasts Seven Percent Growth in Global Business Travel Spend, Potentially Signifying End to Era of Uncertainty . Retrieved from GBTA
- Mobi Health News (2020). Blockchain could be the key to vaccine distribution, says IBM . Retrieved from Mobi Health News
- Pundora, D. (2019). 30 Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Travel Assistant . Retrieved from Wishup
- RateGain (2019). Delivering Duty of Care in the Age of Corporate Rogue Travel . Retrieved from RateGain
- Regan, R. (2020). Everything You Need To Know About Generation Z In The Workplace in 2021 . Retrieved from Connecteam
- Reuters (2021). Global business travel to grow 21% in 2021, trade group forecasts . Retrieved from Reuters
- Revfine (2020). Blockchain Technology within the Travel Industry . Retrieved from Revfine
- Statista (2021). Business tourism spending of G20 countries in 2019 . Retrieved from Statista
- TripActions (2019). 7 Business Travel Trends to Watch in 2020 . Retrieved from TripActions
- Wallin, B. (2020). How the death of business travel will change your next vacation . Retrieved from National Geographic
- Wyman, O. (2020). How Videoconferencing And Covid-19 May Permanently Shrink The Business Travel Market . Retrieved from Forbes
By Jenny Chang
Jenny Chang is a senior writer specializing in SaaS and B2B software solutions. Her decision to focus on these two industries was spurred by their explosive growth in the last decade, much of it she attributes to the emergence of disruptive technologies and the quick adoption by businesses that were quick to recognize their values to their organizations. She has covered all the major developments in SaaS and B2B software solutions, from the introduction of massive ERPs to small business platforms to help startups on their way to success.
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The biggest travel trends for 2023
By Condé Nast Traveller and Sarah Allard
2022 was officially the year that the world opened back up. After nearly two years of being kept on home turf, this year saw a much-needed return to travel as we took to the skies, seas, tracks and roads to explore more than ever before – whether revisiting an old favourite or planning a big, bucket list trip somewhere new.
In 2023, travellers will be going one step further as we look to deepen these experiences by having a lasting positive impact on the places and people we visit. We'll immerse ourselves in new, mind-bending wellness practices with benefits that continue far beyond checkout and make meaningful changes to the way we travel with protecting our planet top of mind.
From psychedelic retreats and adaptogenic menus to flat-pack hotels and electric road trips, these are the 18 travel trends likely to guide how we see the world in 2023.
1. Transformation retreats
What’s the trend? The forces that motivate us to travel can be mapped on a triangle similar to Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”. At the bottom would be travel as a necessity – to remove us from danger (known as Safety on Maslow’s diagram). Next might be travel to help us achieve deeper human connections (known as Love and Belonging), followed by travelling to build our knowledge and status (known as Esteem). This level is pegged to the Experience Economy – the idea that goods or services are valuable because of the positive effect they can have on our lives. So what’s at the summit of the pyramid? According to American psychologist Abraham Maslow, after we have met all those other “needs”, the ultimate goal is Self Actualisation – in essence, “being your best self”. This is true of travel, too – next year, transformation retreats will become a popular tool to help people achieve their full potential.
Why will it matter in 2023? After a year of travel for fun, relaxation and reunion post-pandemic, 2023 will be the year we travel for personal betterment. Whether you are seeking to overcome grief, identify your life’s mission or discover what your body is physically capable of, there will be a Transformation Retreat that caters to it. Healing Holidays is a good place to start when it comes to planning as it aggregates retreats from around the world according to the kind of experience you might want to have. For example, at Euphoria in Greece, you can sign up for an "emotional and physical" transformation retreat that includes dance therapy and self-awareness group sessions. Next year, Advivum Journeys will be hosting “Radical Sabbaticals” in Kent (England), while the Heartbreak Hotel in the British Peak District will be inviting women to its signature “Moving Beyond Betrayal” retreat in the autumn. Over in the Caribbean , the Aerial BVI will be delivering a series of themed summits (Abundance, Strength, Love, Presence and Dream) on a private island . They cost about US$10,000 but you can now also pay in instalments. Jenny Southan
2. Flat-pack hotels
What’s the trend? Far less gimmicky than it sounds, with more soul and deep-seated sustainable credentials , flat-packed hotels are based on principles of modular housing and prefabricated architecture. The building parts are manufactured in a factory, flat-packed and shipped to the destination to be assembled on-site. While flat-packed anything is traditionally associated with cheap mass production, this changed when hotel group Habitas opened its first flat-pack hotel in Tulum back in 2017, delivering a thoughtful, sustainably slanted lifestyle hotel to burnt-out city dwellers who wanted to match light touch holidays with stylish simplicity.
Why will it matter in 2023? Not just a passing trend, the hotel group built its own factory in Mexico which can manufacture modular hotel parts, flat pack, ship, assemble on-site and open for guests in under a year. Barely any foundation is poured, and instead of glitzy lobbies and heavy-handed structures, each hotel is built around trees, rocks, and water. The effect taps into the growing trend for nature-based off-grid retreats which promise access to widescreen wilderness. Since Tulum, Habitas’ hotels have opened in far-flung locations around the world. The latest is in the Ashar Valley of Saudi Arabia and the San Miguel de Allende’s countryside, with plans to unpack more retreats in 2023 in Mexico, Morocco, Costa Rica , Bhutan and beyond, aiming for 10-12 hotels a year. This form of construction is not only sustainable; the rising costs of building means this is far more cost-effective than traditional construction and it is allowing Habitas to build its flat-pack hotel empire at breakneck speed. Chloe Sachdev
3. Hybrid flight-light travel
What’s the trend? Hybrid flight-light itineraries aren't just more earth-friendly; they make getting from A to B, or B to A, part of the adventure. Just as we're increasingly flexitarians and climatarians with what we eat, switching out animal proteins for plant alternatives, now we’re turning flexi-air-ian. A more eco way of exploring Europe is swapping an outbound or inbound short-haul airline ticket for a train ride instead. We're smitten with slow travel operator Byway for making flight-free forays especially appealing. They plot multi-destination journeys by train , bus and boat in a way that swerves planning and admin headaches, and gives us the most from our time in transit. They also share our taste for small, locally-owned boutique hotels, and we love how they format all arrangements in one user-friendly PDF integrated with all train and travel tickets.
Why will it matter in 2023? Travelling slower and greener is increasingly essential as corporates and consumers show more dedication to slashing emissions. Riding by rail can reduce our footprint by up to 90 per cent compared with flying the same distance. Bragging about being jet setters is being trumped by virtue-signalling about travel escapades that involve lower-carbon logistics. We’re also keener to give our money to ethical businesses. Byway is not only making train travel très chic, they’re a B Corporation – which means the company has gone through a rigorous assessment of its impact on workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment. Another responsible travel company that has B Corp status, and is upping their train travel itineraries, is Intrepid Travel . This means their B Lab team has verified they meet high standards of social and environmental performance, with transparency and accountability. Juliet Kinsman
What’s the trend? We spent the best part of 2020 and 2021 glued to our screens, so it’s no surprise that our love for TV will be working its way into our travel plans for 2023. Next year, many travellers will take their favourite TV shows on tour, using stunning and interesting filming locations as a springboard for an exciting new holiday destination.
Why will it matter in 2023? Recent data from Netflix revealed that 70 per cent of programmes watched by a typical Netflix user were filmed in a foreign setting, and the locations of chosen programmes were frequently their favourite holiday spots. “We’ve noticed this trend accelerating among our guests,” says Simon Lynch, global sales and product director of Scott Dunn , “with bookings for France in 2023 already 20 per cent higher than pre-pandemic levels, thanks to the halo effect of hit shows such as Emily in Paris . The idyllic sun-drenched filming locations of HBO sensation The White Lotus also look to have inspired our guests seeking ultra-luxurious winter-sun escapes , with over 80 per cent of Scott Dunn Private members travelling to warm destinations this winter including Mexico, the Maldives, Oman , Australia and Barbados to name a few.” According to Expedia brands spokesperson Natalie Allard, TV is taking over Instagram as a key travel influencer. “We've identified set-jetting as a big trend for next year. According to Expedia data, films and series are more influential than social media when it comes to booking trips these days! Two-thirds of global travellers have considered doing it and almost 40 per cent are ahead of the trend and have already booked trips after being inspired by their favourite show”, she says. Natalie’s top on-location trends for 2023? “You can expect lots of travellers heading to Paris in search of love and going on a weekend break to Bath to explore classical Regency architecture fit for high society. I can’t wait to get back to New Zealand – I’ll of course be on the lookout for those epic Middle Earth locations!” Sarah Allard
5. A new kind of all inclusive
What’s the trend? There’s been snobbery around all-inclusive retreats for decades. Those who consider themselves well-travelled often turn noses up at the idea of holidays where you needn’t step foot outside of the resort, and breakfasts, lunches, suppers and happy hours are taken in the same clutch of restaurants. But smart brands are now putting a rootsy spin on the concept.
Why will it matter in 2023? The term “all-inclusive” has long been sneered at in luxury travel circles – for reasons that escape us because, really, who doesn’t want to drink a poolside G&T, happy in the knowledge that they won’t be slapped with a hair-raising bill while checking out? But good news abounds – a cluster of gorgeous properties are putting a new spin on the concept. In Sussex, Cali-cool beach hotel The Gallivant has long been turning the idea on its head from its spoiling position over Camber Sands. Stays here include a three-course supper that might spotlight wood-roasted Romney lamb rump, Kentish Blue cheese beignets or whole crab with Maldon rock oysters; breakfasts of Turkish eggs or fluffy pancakes; a 5pm English wine happy hour, Elevenses and more. It’s so popular, the team will open their second outpost on the Kentish coast in 2023. In France, 17th-century French country house Les Maisons de Campagne has reinvented the concept, with everything from help-yourself beer to yoga classes included in the price. Further afield, the Ikos brand takes things a step further – as well as five on-site restaurants at its 2023 opening in Mallorca, an all-inclusive stay offers the chance to book local restaurants at no extra cost – giving travellers a taste of the island and supporting the local community in one swoop. None of these smart stays can be labelled “cheap" – but as we all become more aware of where we spend our cash, this is a trend that makes the cost of our holidays more transparent and those well-deserved trips easier to save for – without any nasty surprises. Sarah James
6. Swankier airport lounges
What’s the trend? As more travellers are figuring out ways to access airport lounges with credit cards or other memberships, airlines are trying harder than ever to distinguish their top-tier lounges as rarefied spaces. Recent perks include a premium Champagne bar in British Airways and American Airlines' just-opened lounge in JFK, a Clarins spa offering facials and other treatments in Air France's business-class lounge also at JFK, as well as a forthcoming Delta One lounges in New York and Los Angeles, clocking in at 36,000 square feet and exclusive to the airline's first-class customers. On the credit card end of the spectrum, Capital One will introduce a new culinary lounge concept with chef José Andrés focused on serving Spanish tapas-style cuisine in both Washington DC and New York. Meanwhile, Chase Sapphire is preparing for a spate of premium lounge openings across the US, following the debut of its first location in Hong Kong back in October 2022.
Why will it matter in 2023? Those in the upper echelons of airline elite status schemes or with the most premium credit cards will want to arrive at the airport early to take advantage of the perks, and these revamped lounges will also make layovers less of a nuisance for certain passengers. However, as part of the lounge-reset process, travellers can expect to see airlines and credit card companies make the spaces more difficult to access throughout next year. (We've already seen Delta tighten its lounge entry requirements and limit who can buy memberships to address overcrowding; others will likely follow suit.) All the more reason to take extra care when mapping out your points-and-miles strategy for 2023. Jessica Puckett
7. Crypto trips
What’s the trend? Up until now the only way to pay for a trip, flight or hotel stay was with “fiat” currencies such as dollars or pounds, points or Airmiles but thanks to technological innovations from the likes of fintech companies such as Revolut and Hayvn, cryptocurrency owners are now able to redeem Bitcoin and Ether, for example, on holidays.
Why will it matter in 2023? In the US, Insider Intelligence estimates that almost 13 per cent of the adult population now owns at least one type of cryptocurrency and by the end of 2023, about 3.6 million people will be spending crypto (previously it was just about investing and trading). This is a huge opportunity for the travel and tourism industry to adapt to new shifts in consumer spending. In summer 2022, Soneva Resorts in Thailand and the Maldives began allowing guests to pay for stays in crypto. In the autumn, experiential travel and yachting company, Pelorus , began accepting cryptocurrency payments for overseas adventures. In November 2022, Borrow a Boat began accepting crypto for boat charters. More companies will follow suit. Jenny Southan
8. Luxury yachts from luxury hotel brands
What’s the trend? The announcement of a new breed of luxury yachts from the world’s leading hotel brands has been long-awaited, with loyal clients eager to take to the seas in the comfort and style their on-land counterparts have become known for. The dream has already become a reality thanks to The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection – Evrima , the most sophisticated and expensive civilian ship ever built in Spain, was launched last October . CEO Douglas Prothero is passionate about explaining how these new experiences will differ from what we’ve come to know about cruising: “Nine out of 10 of our guests have never been on a cruise before, that just shows the type of client we are dealing with. You won’t find things like casinos on board, we want guests to explore the places we visit rather than spend all their time on board”.
Why will it matter in 2023? This is just the beginning of what we can expect to see from the luxury cruise world. At the end of 2022, Four Seasons confirmed the launch of a cruise ship with 95 suites. Its motto? “Love makes waves”. Although the first cruises won’t start until 2025, customers will be able to buy tickets from the end of 2023. Four Seasons Yacht’s first itineraries in the Mediterranean and Caribbean will be centred around breathtaking destinations that offer highly bespoke shore experiences, as well as one-of-a-kind overland adventures. Aman will launch its 600-foot luxury yacht in 2025, Aman’s Project Sama , with just 50 suites and partnered with Sinot Yacht Architecture & Design. Belmond was a pioneer, launching its river-focused péniche-hôtels in 2004. But the beloved LVMH’s travel brand has news for 2023 too: next summer, the Coquelicot will be launched as an updated version of the iconic Belmond's Hirondelle barge. Three suites for a maximum of six people, with prices starting from $81,500 per week and a complete and luxury itinerary through the Champagne region. David Moralejo
9. Artist-owned hotels
What’s the trend? The art-hotel mash-up trend has been around for a while – from the eccentric Fife Arms in Scotland owned by the same couple behind powerhouse gallery Hauser and Wirth to Margate’s whip-smart Fort Road Hotel catering to travellers looking beyond cookie-cutter hotels for more personal, immersive experiences that touch on their creative spirits.
Why will it matter in 2023? Thanks to two young female artists, the trend is gaining momentum, catering to a generation of travellers looking to bed down in places where creativity and connection are nurtured. In Marrakech , artist Lrnce is opening her colourful seven-bedroom riad , Rosemary, decked out in colourful hand-painted tiles, fabrics and a rooftop that will host community events for like-minded guests. Later in the year, on the island of Mallorca , where – like Marrakech – creativity has always pulsated, contemporary photographer Kate Bellm will be opening her bolthole, Hotel Corazon. Known for her dreamy ethereal snapshots of island life, Bellm's spot is in the village of Deià, with London chef about town Magnus Reid in charge of the health-focussed restaurant. Chloe Sachdev
10. Sleep tourism
What’s the trend? Sleeping used to be merely a byproduct of travel; the thing we do at the end of the day, ideally in a cloud-like bed. Now, a good night’s sleep is becoming one of the key travel trends, with a new era of “sleep concierges”, AI-powered beds and more.
Why will it matter in 2023? More and more hotel brands are using the latest in sleep technology. Take Bryte mattresses, which use artificial intelligence to adjust body support and room temperature to maintain deep sleep, and which are now available in hotels across the US especially – from the Carillon Miami to the Four Seasons Beverly Hills and a special sleep suite at the Park Hyatt New York . Hästens, the well-known Swedish mattress producer, has gone even further, opening the Hästens Sleep Spa Hotel , a 15-room boutique hotel in Coimbra, central Portugal, where everything – acoustics, sleep books, mattresses made with hypoallergenic horsehair – is designed for optimal shut-eye. It’s a similar idea at Chelsea’s smart Belmond Cadogan Hotel , where a ‘Sleep Concierge’ service includes a meditation by Harley Street hypnotherapist and sleep expert Malminder Gill, as well as a choice of weighted blankets, pillows and pillow mists, all recommended based on the guest’s sleeping preferences. Toby Skinner
11. Adaptogenic menus
What’s the trend? When Steve Jobs was dying of cancer, he wrote a list of things he had learnt about life. One of them was: “Eat your food as your medicine. Otherwise, you have to eat medicine as your food.” We all appreciate the nutritional qualities of food but a new era of understanding is revealing the hidden power of certain edible plants and mushrooms to help the body combat stress, anxiety and fatigue, for instance, thanks to the presence of active ingredients known as “adaptogens”. Examples of trendy adaptogenic herbs include Siberian ginseng, Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng), Tulsi (Holy Basil) and Schisandra berries.
Why will it matter in 2023? Of course, plant power can be taken in pill form but new precedents are being set by cutting-edge food and drink brands such as Three Spirit (which swaps alcohol for adaptogens) that deliver adaptogens in their raw, cooked or distilled form. Adaptogenic menus will see food harnessed in more specific ways – to boost mood, clear the mind and even supercharge the immune system. In London, Sweeties bar at The Standard hotel has been dabbling with adaptogenic cocktails (Gold Dust Woman is made with turmeric), while Los Angeles has been ahead of the curve when it comes to blending adaptogenic smoothies, lattes and teas (see Moon Juice, Cafe Gratitude and Kreation). Soon, we will see adaptogens on restaurant menus too (Lion’s Mane mushroom soup or Arctic Root salad, anyone?). Jenny Southan
12. Electric road trips
What’s the trend? Ever since Jack Kerouac wrote the cult American novel On the Road , road trips have held a unique allure. But because they have relied on a gas-guzzling car or RV, they have also come with a carbon footprint. Today, the emergence of electric vehicles with extended ranges of 450 miles or more (allowing them to be driven for greater distances between charges) means they can finally be done with less impact on the environment. Of course, you need to plan your route carefully to make sure there are charging points available en route, but car rental companies are increasingly offering fleets of e-vehicles for hire. According to Hertz, one of the best routes in Europe is the Basel-Baden-Zurich-Appenzell “Grand Tour” in Switzerland (about 1,000 miles), which is dotted with 300 EV chargers.
Why will it matter in 2023? Mass production of Tesla’s futuristic-looking electric Cybertruck will begin in 2023 and will rapidly become one of the coolest vehicles to take an electric road trip. Not only does it have solar panels on the roof that allow you to recharge in the middle of the wilderness, but a fold-out kitchen and space in the back to sleep. Another desirable ride is the new electric VW iD Buzz camper van. Jenny Southan
13. Psychedelic immersions
What’s the trend? If you have seen Michael Pollan’s Netflix documentary How to Change Your Mind , which explores the history and uses of psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and mescaline, you will know that there is a growing body of evidence that hallucinogenic drugs can have a profoundly positive impact on mental health . As a consequence, legislation in a handful of countries is beginning to soften when it comes to their usage for therapeutic purposes – for instance, in 2022, Awakn Life Sciences opened its first psychedelic psychotherapy clinic in London. Next year, the US state of Oregon will become the first in the country to allow for the consumption of psilocybin in a supervised setting.
Why will it matter in 2023? The collective trauma of the Covid crisis can’t be underestimated but, for many people, PTSD can remain unacknowledged, buried or delayed in its response. In 2023, the timing will be right for psychedelic immersions to take off as an alternative form of fast-track therapy (many people have profound realisations when tripping). The Synthesis Institute already organises group psilocybin sessions in the Netherlands but will also be opening a dedicated centre in Oregon in 2023. At the same time, Beckley Retreats will be hosting a series of five-night getaways at a mansion in Jamaica from $4,500 per person. Jenny Southan
14. Indigenous groups take control
What’s the trend? While thoughtful travel companies have long supported Indigenous communities , the big difference now is that Indigenous people are leading the way in promoting their areas – and that travellers will be increasingly aware of the cultural provenance of their choices.
Why will it matter in 2023? Across the world, there will simply be more travel options which are led by Indigenous communities. Take Australia , where deep changes run across the board: the Kuki Yalanji people being recognised as the rightful owners of Queensland’s Daintree National Park , for example; the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape along the Great Ocean Road joining UNESCO’s World Heritage list for its Aboriginal cultural value, including ancient Gunditjmara eel farms; or new experiences like the Baiyungu-led tours along Western Australia’s Ningaloo coast, including exploring shell middens with evidence of early Aboriginal occupation. Canada has had a similar reckoning, with an explosion of First Nations-owned offerings. In British Columbia alone, new ocean-facing cabins at Haida House on the nature-rich island of Haida Gwaii and the upcoming Nemiah Valley Lodge in the inland Chilcotin region are just a few of the new indigenous-owned properties to follow in the wake of the pioneering Klahoose Wilderness Resort, north of Vancouver. But this new movement feels truly global – from Uganda’s new Gahinga Batwa Village, which provides a permanent home for possibly Central Africa’s oldest surviving indigenous group, to new indigenous-led groups like Bonanza Tours, which runs tours of the Peruvian Amazon northeast of Cusco. Toby Skinner
What’s the trend? The experts at Black Tomato have noticed a paradigm shift to “Bleisure” – where travellers used to approach business trips by tacking on a few days at the end, there's now a reversal (which they've dubbed “Lisness”). “Increasingly, this is driven by travellers planning leisure trips with time for work, tapping the ability to work more flexibly, from wherever,” says Black Tomato co-founder Tom Marchant. "We’re seeing some client travels extending into month-long ventures, with a 75 per cent/25 per cent leisure/business split, allowing for more decompression and reintegration into normal life, and a notable leisure-driven approach to these hybrid trips.”
Why will it matter in 2023? The impact Covid has had on the way we think about and approach work has been huge. “The traditional thinking was work, potentially paired with a holiday; now, it’s an intentional holiday-first mindset with work in and around it" explains Tom. "Leading hotel groups and tour operators in turn need to adapt services and experiences to accommodate this pattern, where the value of strong wifi and flexible time zones are more important than ever. It’s about taking more time in situ, often in destinations which benefit from longer stays leading to remarkable travel experiences over a longer period, with more impact, such as Costa Rica, Argentina , Chile, Guatemala.” Sarah Allard
16. Ultra long-term planning
What’s the trend? During the intra-pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, it was impossible to plan more than a few weeks ahead for trips abroad because governments were always changing entry requirements, closing borders and forcing airlines to cancel flights . In 2022 travellers were getting their confidence back but from 2023, demand will be dialled up to the max, especially if China finally reopens to international tourism. With competition for stays in the best suites and hotels already fierce, only those that book well ahead will be guaranteed what they want.
Why will it matter in 2023? There will be lots of new hotels and experiences launching in 2023 but with jet setters already thinking beyond the current year, sights will be set on options for 2024 and beyond. Itineraries will include the likes of the first Orient Express Hotel, Minerva, in Rome , cruises aboard MSC Group’s new ship Explora II (arriving summer 2024), the Six Senses Svart in the Norwegian Arctic Circle, Accor’s Mantis Masai Mara Eco-Lodge in Kenya, the Rosewood Miyakojima in Japan , and Aman’s Amanvari on the Sea of Cortés in Mexico (all in 2024). The Cheval Blanc Beverly Hills, Edition Lake Como and Park Hyatt Riyadh Diriyah Gate in Saudi Arabia will be on the 2025 must-visit list. Jenny Southan
17. Educational itineraries
What’s the trend? After missing out on two years of adventures, travellers are on a mission not to waste another second. Instead of visiting a destination and barely scratching the surface, travellers want to ensure their experiences are deeper and more meaningful than ever before, learning something new in the process.
Why will it matter in 2023? “Following a spate of post-pandemic revenge spending, we can now expect travellers to be more selective, placing higher value on fulfilling experiences that fuel their thirst for knowledge and personal growth in 2023”, says Adam Sebba, CEO and founder of The Luminaire . In fact, in a recent survey conducted by the luxury travel provider, almost 90% of respondents ranked the appeal of ‘luxury educational travel experiences’ at 8, 9 or 10 out of 10. According to Tom Marchant, co-founder of Black Tomato , this is a trend we can expect to see a lot more of next year. “We’ve seen demand for itineraries designed with a purpose to acquire knowledge surge in 2022, and see this trend only picking up further pace next year,” he says. Their immersive and educative journeys in 2023 include gaining a deep understanding of Japan’s traditional architectural style by spending time with one of the country's leading architects and taking part in the fight to protect the rare Black Rhino in Kenya with inside access to a team of vets and rangers to learn more about conservation efforts. Sarah Allard
18. The sound of silence
What's the trend? Silent retreats, of course, date back millennia but the idea that silence is golden is at the heart of a growing trend in transformational travel. The Quiet Parks movement, founded in 2019, is a grass-roots organisation inspired by the idea that natural quiet has become an endangered species and needs to be protected. Annual awards are given to parks, trails, marine sanctuaries and urban spaces that offer extended periods of natural quiet, drawing on research showing how this helps reduce stress and anxiety, improves mental wellbeing, and encourages wildlife. It’s a movement that’s gaining momentum, with indigenous Cofans in Ecuador leading tours of the very first park to be awarded Quiet Park status, Zabalo River Wilderness Quiet Park, and US-based tour operator Recal redefining adventure travel for the mindful generation with deep-listening trips into the wilderness. Closer to home, in Carmarthenshire, lockdown inspired Lisa Denison to start Quiet Walks as a blog, but she’s since launched it as a guided-walks company, taking small groups around off-the-beaten-track routes in the Welsh countryside. They’re aimed at introverts like herself, who may feel overwhelmed in larger groups; but quiet walking benefits all types of hiker. “It doesn’t mean my walks are not sociable – they really are – but they also allow for moments of quiet, even if it’s just to hear a moment of birdsong or experience nature fully,” she says.
Why will it matter in 2023? Three years after “lockdown” became a word used outside the prison system for the first time, there’s not too much we miss about that period – but, well, it was blissfully quiet, wasn’t it? We could hear birdsong rather than traffic, the wind in the willows rather than planes overhead. With human-generated sound falling by up to eight decibels, it was the longest period of quiet in recorded history. Little wonder then, that with the return to normality and noise pollution, many of us are seeking respite: according to a recent survey by Booking.com, 40 per cent of respondents said they would consider a silent retreat in 2023. In the new year, Quiet Park status will be awarded to the American Prairie Reserve in Montana, Haleakala National Park in Hawaii and Namibrand Nature Reserve in Namibia, among others, while Quiet Trails will include the Kvarken Archipelago in Finland, and Urban Quiet Parks will be tested in Paris, Thessaloniki, Toronto and Brisbane. For many of us, 2023 will be a year for muting more than our Zoom calls. Rick Jordan
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Business travel in the U.S. - statistics & facts
How much does business travel contribute to the u.s. tourism sector, most expensive u.s. business travel destinations, key insights.
Business travel spending in the U.S. 2010-2025
Number of business travel jobs in the U.S. 2019-2021
U.S. inbound business travel spending 2020, by source region
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Top U.S. travel management partners 2020
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Leading travel companies worldwide 2022, by sales
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- Premium Statistic Global business travel spending 2001-2022
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Expenditure of business tourists worldwide from 2001 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)
G20 nations: business travel spending 2021
Expenditure of business tourists in G20 countries in 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Share of tourism spending in leading global travel markets 2022, by type
Distribution of leisure and business travel spending in the leading travel markets worldwide in 2022
Number of jobs supported by business tourism in the United States from 2019 to 2021, by segment (in 1,000s)
Readiness of U.S. travelers to take business trips 2021
Willingness to travel for business purposes in the United States as of October 2021
Volume of business tourism
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Business travel volume in the U.S. 2010-2021
Number of trips made by business tourists in the United States from 2010 to 2021, by main destination (in millions)
Growth rate of domestic business trips in the U.S. 2017-2026
Percentage change in the number of trips made by domestic business tourists in the United States from 2017 to 2022, with forecast until 2026
Inbound business tourism volume in the U.S. 2011-2021
Number of business visitor arrivals from overseas to the United States from 2011 to 2021 (in 1,000s)
Main source countries for U.S. inbound business travel 2021
Leading countries of origin for overseas business visitor arrivals in the United States in 2021 (in 1,000s)
Average monthly trips by U.S. business travelers 2022, by type
Expected average number of trips per month by business tourists in the United States as of September 2022, by type
Business travel spending
- Premium Statistic U.S. inbound business travel spending 2010-2021
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- Premium Statistic Main source markets for U.S. inbound business travel spending 2020
- Premium Statistic U.S. outbound business travel spending 2010-2021
- Premium Statistic Main recipient countries of U.S. outbound business travel spending 2020
- Premium Statistic U.S. domestic business travel spending 2019-2026
- Premium Statistic Daily business tourism expenses in the United States 2018-2021
- Premium Statistic Highest-priced U.S. business travel destinations Q4 2022
U.S. inbound business travel spending 2010-2021
Expenditure of international business tourists in the United States from 2010 to 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Expenditure of international business tourists in the United States in 2020, by region of origin (in million U.S. dollars)
Main source markets for U.S. inbound business travel spending 2020
Leading countries for international business tourism in the United States in 2020, by share of total spending
U.S. outbound business travel spending 2010-2021
Expenditure of international business tourists from the United States from 2010 to 2021 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Main recipient countries of U.S. outbound business travel spending 2020
Leading countries of destination for business tourists from the United States in 2020, by share of total spending
U.S. domestic business travel spending 2019-2026
Expenditure of domestic business tourists in the United States from 2019 to 2022, with forecast until 2026 (in billion U.S. dollars)
Daily business tourism expenses in the United States 2018-2021
Average business travel cost in the United States from 4th quarter 2018 to 4th quarter 2021 (in U.S. dollars per day)
Highest-priced U.S. business travel destinations Q4 2022
Most expensive cities for business tourism in the United States in 4th quarter 2022, by average daily cost (in U.S. dollars)
- Premium Statistic Biggest corporate travel spenders in the U.S. 2022, by booked air volume
- Premium Statistic Top U.S. travel management partners 2020
- Premium Statistic Favorite hotel brands for corporate travel during COVID-19 in the United States 2021
- Premium Statistic Predictions on reduction of U.S. corporate travel spend due to green goals 2025
- Premium Statistic Predictions on corporate travel spending in the United States 2022, by destination
Biggest corporate travel spenders in the U.S. 2022, by booked air volume
Leading companies for business travel spending in the United States in 2022, by booked air volume (in million U.S. dollars)
Leading travel management companies in the United States in 2020, by number of top partnerships
Favorite hotel brands for corporate travel during COVID-19 in the United States 2021
Best hotel brands amid the COVID-19 pandemic according to business travel managers in the United States as of September 2021
Predictions on reduction of U.S. corporate travel spend due to green goals 2025
Expected impact of companies' sustainable initiatives on business travel spending in the United States in 2025
Predictions on corporate travel spending in the United States 2022, by destination
Expected change in international business travel spending according to travel managers in the United States in 2022, by region of destination
- Premium Statistic Adoption of digital nomads' way of living in the U.S. 2022
- Premium Statistic Major reasons to take bleisure trips for U.S. business travelers 2022
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- Premium Statistic Favorite countries for U.S. Americans to work remotely 2021
- Premium Statistic Most important features at accommodations for U.S. bleisure travelers 2022
Adoption of digital nomads' way of living in the U.S. 2022
Share of employees planning to adopt a digital nomad lifestyle in the United States as of February 2022
Major reasons to take bleisure trips for U.S. business travelers 2022
Main motivating factors to combine business with leisure trips for corporate travelers in the United States as of February 2022
Favorite trip length for U.S. bleisure travelers 2022
Preferred length of stay for trips combining business with leisure activities in the United States as of February 2022
Favorite countries for U.S. Americans to work remotely 2021
Preferred international workation destinations for remote workers from the United States as of December 2021
Most important features at accommodations for U.S. bleisure travelers 2022
Preferred accommodation amenities for bleisure tourists in the United States as of February 2022, by utility score
Travel behavior of remote workers
- Premium Statistic Workation destination choice of remote workers from the U.S. 2021
- Premium Statistic Motivations of U.S. Americans who work remotely to choose workation 2021
- Premium Statistic Duration of workations by U.S. Americans who work remotely 2021
- Premium Statistic Main concerns of U.S. remote workers when picking workation lodging 2021
- Premium Statistic U.S. remote workers' satisfaction with workation experience 2021
Workation destination choice of remote workers from the U.S. 2021
Distribution of remote workers from the United States as of December 2021, by destination type
Motivations of U.S. Americans who work remotely to choose workation 2021
Main reasons to combine work and leisure travel for remote workers from the United States as of December 2021
Duration of workations by U.S. Americans who work remotely 2021
Preferred length of trips involving work and leisure for remote workers from the United States as of December 2021
Main concerns of U.S. remote workers when picking workation lodging 2021
Main considerations to choose an accommodation for work and leisure travel by remote workers from the United States as of December 2021
U.S. remote workers' satisfaction with workation experience 2021
Evaluation of trips involving work and leisure by remote workers from the United States as of December 2021
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Top Travel Industry Trends (2023-2026)
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The travel and tourism industry is growing at an annual rate of 4.41% .
By 2026, the projected market value will be just under $1 billion.
Here are seven trends driving the future of the travel space.
1. Travelers go it alone
One website reports that 25% of all American millennials plan to travel by themselves each year.
Statistics show that the number of people traveling solo increased by 42% even before the pandemic.
According to Travel Market Report , Intrepid Travel is a small-group travel company that plans trips for 75,000 people per year.
Data shows that more than 50% of the travelers booking with them are going alone.
Overseas Adventure Travel, another small-group travel company, has seen such a boom in solo travel that they’ve upped the number of single spaces they have available in 2021, a 76% increase over 2019.
Solo travelers are big on social media too.
2. Travelers crave local experiences
The "experience economy" is huge in the travel industry.
But fewer and fewer people may be settling for commonplace vacation activities in the coming years.
Instead, “consumers [will] pursue authentic experiences , distancing themselves from mainstream tourism providers and venturing into pastimes that feel more meaningful”.
Data insights company AirSage marks this as an emerging trend because “people no longer want boring and conventional travel experiences as much as they used to. Instead, they would rather pay for vacations that are once in a lifetime opportunities”.
Airbnb is betting on this trend.
Their website has offered the opportunity for consumers to book “experiences” since 2016.
But they also added online experiences in 2020 for people who are seeking to connect with locals without leaving their homes.
Other companies are banking their entire business model on this trend.
Withlocals offers “personalized traveling” — the opportunity for travelers to book private tours and activities with locals around the world.
Camping (and glamping) trips have also become a popular way for people to travel while experiencing the local culture and staying safe amidst the pandemic.
Outdoorsy has been called the “Airbnb of RV rentals”.
And their sales exploded to $1 billion in 2020. That’s 400% growth since 2019.
Under Canvas runs seven glamping camps in wilderness locations across the United States aimed at exploring the local landscape and inspiring human connections.
The company reported a “surge" in demand in 2020 and had "strong" advanced bookings during 2021.
3. Travel tech adoption accelerates
As with nearly all businesses, technology is presenting the travel industry with seemingly endless opportunities.
The pandemic has only increased the speed of tech adoption in the travel industry.
A McKinsey survey showed that, because of COVID-19, “companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years".
One example: room service robots.
Two Chinese hotel giants invested in ExcelLand, a manufacturer that already had 3,000 robots in operation.
BTG Homeinnes is looking at these robots as a way to control costs and safeguard guests.
Hotels, airlines, booking sites, and others are using chatbots like never before.
Travelers can chat with providers during every stage of their journey.
And, they won’t (always) feel like they’re talking to a robot. Advances in AI have made this type of communication hassle-free.
United Airlines has launched an “ Agent on Demand ” service that allows travelers at the airport to video chat with a customer service representative simply by scanning a QR code.
More and more airlines and airports are deploying facial recognition technology.
Corporations and government entities tout this technology as a boon for travel safety.
But many privacy advocates have put a halt to this emerging trend. They warn that this type of surveillance could easily turn dystopian.
With all of this new tech, companies are also continuing to capitalize on an older piece of technology — the smartphone.
Stats show that travelers who book tours and activities on their phone spend 50% more than those who book elsewhere.
4. Consumers blend business and leisure travel
The latest statistics say there are nearly 5 million digital nomads in America.
The concept of being location-independent, traveling and working remotely, has become even more popular since the start of the pandemic.
The hospitality industry is starting to cater specifically to digital nomads.
Aruba is opening its beaches up to travelers who’d like to work remotely, calling the marketing campaign “ One Happy Workation ”.
Visitors can stay for up to 90 days. And do not need any governmental documentation.
Barbados and the Cayman Islands will also let you work remotely from paradise for an extended period of time.
Booking.com reports that the "workation" trend is going strong.
More than 50% of travelers say they would extend their business trip to enjoy personal time at their destination.
In 2020, hotels began catering to locals who needed a quiet place to work.
The Hamilton Hotel in Washington, DC, is just one example. It’s WFH-Work From Hamilton program offers rooms on a 6:00 am to 7:00 pm schedule.
5. The travel industry gets serious about sustainability
Recent data shows that more than half of US travelers believe there aren’t enough options when it comes to sustainable travel .
A poll conducted on behalf of Exodus Travels went even deeper into consumers’ attitudes .
- 91% of travelers see the importance of taking ethical trips
- 56% believe in buying souvenirs from local merchants
- 44% want to support local businesses at their destination
Sustainable travel involves minimizing impact on the local cultural environment.
And also taking an eco-friendly approach to the physical environment.
Nearly 70% of travelers say they are more likely to book accommodations if they know the property is planet-friendly.
Many in the travel industry have recently made commitments to preserving the environment.
For example, India-based ITC Hotels Group has LEED certified each of its hotels.
As of 2023, hotels in the state of California will no longer be allowed to provide single-use toiletries in plastic bottles to their guests.
Marriott International has made a pledge to remove these types of plastics from all their hotels, too. But the pandemic has put a temporary stop to that plan.
A recent report from Skift made this summary statement regarding sustainable travel in the future:
“[It’s a] less flashy way of viewing and traveling the world . . . with an emphasis on safety, sustainability, and profound experiences while getting from point A to B without wrecking the climate and local quality of life in the process.”
6. Electric Air Travel Goes Mainstream
Speaking of sustainability, it looks like flying Teslas are finally here.
And they have the potential to make a big impact on at least three large industries:
The aircraft manufacturing industry, with over $200 billion in annual revenue between the top 3 manufacturers alone (Boeing, Airbus and Lockheed).
Commercial airlines, with $838 billion in annual revenue (pre-COVID).
And the ride-hailing and taxi industry, which was valued at $219.68 billion in 2022.
Electric vehicles are cheaper to run , less expensive to maintain , and better for the environment than vehicles powered by conventional fossil fuels.
That’s just as true for aircraft as it is for cars.
When it comes to electric aircraft, there are two main types: fixed-wing airplanes and eVTOLs.
Fixed-wing electric airplanes are just what they sound like. There aren’t any 747-sized electric airliners yet, but smaller commuter planes are in production.
Eviation is leading the charge. This startup produces a 620-mile range, 9-seat commuter plane called the Alice.
According to the company, flying the Alice is dramatically cheaper than a regular internal-combustion powered airplane.
For a 100-mile flight, conventional fuel for a similar-sized Cessna would cost about $400. In Eviation’s electric Alice, it would only be about $10 .
Eviation recently merged with Clermont Aerospace after a $108.5 million valuation.
At the same time, AeroTEC and MagniX are teaming up to retro-fit existing airplanes with electric motors - with similar improvements to efficiency.
There are also electric-hybrid airplanes in development.
For example, the Project 804 by United Technologies.
As well as the Aero by Zunum, a startup backed by Boeing and JetBlue.
And the E-Fan X by Airbus and Rolls-Royce. This project was shut down in April 2021, but only after achieving its three main initial research goals (according to Airbus).
That covers fixed-wing electrics.
The other major kind of electric aircraft is the eVTOL.
eVTOL stands for “electric vertical take-off and landing”.
Non-electric VTOL examples include anything from helicopters to drones and Harrier Jump Jets.
eVTOLs tend to be smaller than their non-electric cousins, and designed for shorter flights across cities.
Some look like passenger-carrying quadcopter drones. While others have a fixed-wing component like regular airplanes.
Search interest in eVTOLs has been exploding lately as startups and major aircraft manufacturers demonstrate new eVTOL models.
In July 2020, Airbus conducted the first public flight of its autonomous 4-seat CityAirbus multicopter eVTOL. The CityAirbus has a projected range of about 60 miles (or 15 minutes).
Airbus also has Vahana , in development by its Silicon Valley innovation arm, Acubed .
For its part, Boeing’s Aurora Flight Sciences has been developing solutions for an air-taxi service in partnership with Uber. Including an autonomous electric passenger air vehicle.
Separately, Boeing is also reportedly partnering with Porsche to develop another eVTOL.
And Tokyo-based “flying car” manufacturer SkyDrive raised a series B of 3.9 billion yen (about $37 million) and conducted its first public manned demonstration of the SkyDrive SD-03.
The SD-03 is the world’s smallest eVTOL, requiring only as much space on the ground as 2 parked cars.
That small footprint is one of the main advantages eVTOLs have over traditional fossil-fuel powered VTOLs like helicopters.
eVTOLs like the ones mentioned above use multiple smaller electric motors with rotors spread out across the aircraft. Whereas a typical helicopter uses one main internal-combustion engine with two huge rotors stacked above. (Plus a smaller one in the tail.)
eVTOLs’ multi-motor design is called a “distributed electric propulsion” (DEP) system.
DEP systems have numerous advantages. They make piloting easier, reduce the footprint required for take-off and landing, and increase safety through redundancy (if one motor fails, there may be 7 more still running).
They also reduce noise emissions, as the rotors don’t have to spin as fast.
Noise and vibrations within the cabin are lower as well.
Thanks to these advantages, dozens of eVTOL manufacturers are currently vying to capture a share of the nascent “urban air mobility” market: eVTOLs used to fly over traffic.
Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Mexico, and Brazil have all been experimenting with urban air mobility initiatives.
But with all those benefits, why hasn’t electric air travel caught on before?
Two words: energy density.
In other words, the amount of stored energy in one pound of “fuel” — whether gas, diesel, kerosene or batteries.
Currently, conventional fossil fuels have more energy density than batteries. That’s why electric cars are generally heavier than their gas-powered counterparts. They have to be, in order to store enough power.
For aircraft, this added weight poses an obvious problem.
But it’s a problem we’re getting closer to solving.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that an energy density of 400 Wh/kg (watt-hours per kilogram) is the crossover point for lithium-ion batteries to beat kerosene jet fuel. Once battery technology reaches that level, the sky’s the limit for electric aircraft.
Today, the energy density of industry-leading Tesla batteries is currently about 260 Wh/kg. (Up from 124 Wh/kg in 2007.)
So when might we get to 400 Wh/kg?
Very soon, according to Musk.
(Though he has also said that Tesla has no near-term plans to make electric aircraft.)
That’s it for the top seven trends driving the travel and tourism industry forward into 2023 and beyond.
Through these trends, we can see a dynamic relationship between the travel industry and consumers.
It’s a push-and-pull that’s sure to continue in 2024 and companies that can adapt quickly to the changing wants and needs of travelers are the best suited for future success.
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19+ Travel Trends for 2022
19 Travel Trends for 2022
The travel industry has suffered significant damage in the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. Travel trends changed accordingly and will keep surprising us next year.
Travel restrictions, lockdowns, and the overall economic impact of the pandemic measures have resulted in a decrease in the global revenue from the travel and tourism industry by over 20 percent in 2020.
In numbers, a potential loss in hotel business sales of around 925 billion USD in 2020 in the US tourism industry alone.
Use travel trends to update your strategies
However, we are not here to discourage you. Knowledge is power. You can find a way out of this scenario, even by turning the undesired conditions into advantages when you know how to react.
Understanding the different metrics involved and how the numbers have shifted for each metric may help you step out of this gray space and shine out with your business.
- What are the trends in the hospitality industry this year?
- What are the top destinations?
- How have business travel and leisure travel behaviors and preferences shifted?
- What is the share of digital marketing in all of this?
- And, of course, what is the importance of tourism statistics for businesses?
We looked into the biggest travel trends and gathered the top 20 that bear significance for the industry. In this article, we will go over the findings and the main takeaways from each point.
Hopefully, it can help shed light on the industry's current status and how to boost your upcoming itineraries accordingly for the new year.
19+ Travel Industry Trends to Know
2021 was a year of gradual recovery from the initial shock of the pandemic. With various COVID-19 vaccines and better treatments becoming widespread, mortality rates were brought down, and travel activities saw a relative increase when compared to last year.
However, it was still not a usual year for the travel market, and there were certain shifts in travel trends.
1. Vaccine matters for travelers
26% of travelers globally and 30% of US travelers say they will only travel to destinations that require visitors to be vaccinated before travel. ( TripAdvisor )
Despite the controversy and different opinions around the COVID-19 vaccine, statistically speaking, the vaccine increases immunity against the virus and lowers the chances of being hospitalized or undergoing a deadly infection. This is why many governments and enterprises are implementing a vaccination requirement (or a recent negative PCR test result) to enter public and private premises.
What to learn: This statistic from TripAdvisor’s recent survey suggests that the vaccine requirement instills a sense of trust in travelers. The precautions encourage them to prefer a destination or facility over others.
Hoteliers can opt for similar measures or at least a requirement to present a recent negative PCR test result in their facilities to show that they care about their visitors’ safety and well-being.
2. Update occupancy rates
The cruise industry remains the worst-hit global travel and tourism sector. In 2021, the global cruise revenues are set to reach only $6.6bn, or 76% less than in 2019. The hotel industry follows with a $132.3bn in revenue and a 64% drop in two years. ( TravelDailyNews )
In the past two years, the travel industry, specifically the cruise industry, has taken a great hit from the pandemic. Most people try and avoid crowded, closed spaces in their travels. This is why many travelers prefer private rental services such as Airbnb. Road trips were also quite popular.
Or at least they have chosen facilities with a low occupancy rate where they can enjoy privacy in their hotel rooms and otherwise spend time doing outdoor activities safely.
What to learn: Offer them a comfort zone in your hotel in the coming year. It can help to announce your updated occupancy rates and ensure that they will have more privacy than usual. These updates can be announced on your social media channels and used for advertising.
Here, find a few ideas to maintain social distancing in a hotel.
3. Domestic travel is a trend
65% of leisure travelers did not travel internationally in 2020. ( TripAdvisor )
Another travel trend in 2020 was a decline in international travel. Especially those who were traveling for leisure and not out of any necessity opted for domestic travels for their next trip, visiting close destinations that they hadn’t discovered before.
Different numbers of public COVID cases, Omicron, hospital capacities, different public measures, and travel restrictions have made it difficult for travelers to visit other countries and choose destinations that can be reached by air travel.
What to learn: If your hotel marketing strategies are not covering local travelers, you can consider updating your buyer persona. Addressing people from your own country may help you reach more potential guests under these conditions.
Maybe they are not traveling around the world, but people are still interested in leisure travel.
4. Time for meta search advertising
For millennials, OTAs are the preferred sites for booking (57%), followed by hotel sites (36%), and then airline sites (32%). ( Expedia )
Oh, these darn millennials with their apps and social media. According to the respondents of this survey of Expedia on travel trends among millennials and baby boomers, the most preferred means of booking among the younger generation are OTAs (online travel agencies) such as hotels.com, booking.com, and TripAdvisor.
What to learn: While this is good news for travel agents, it means that hoteliers need to put extra effort into encouraging direct travel bookings from their websites. While updating your marketing strategies, you can include meta search advertising and meta search optimization more.
If you are not familiar with meta search engines, take a look at our blog article .
5. Millenials are ready to travel
More than one-third of millennials save so they can travel, compared with just 10 percent of baby boomers. ( Skift )
Speaking of demographic changes, millennials are much more prone to saving money to splurge for travel in comparison to boomers, according to this finding presented. This dynamic younger generation gives great importance to new travel experiences and saves money for their travel expenditures.
What to learn: Travel companies, hoteliers, tour operators, and other actors in the travel industry should pay more attention to this rising demographic group and their needs.
Or, in the words of Sean O'Neill from Skift: "If you're a young travel company that wants to grow, riding the demographic rise of millennials can be the smartest path - with a fresh approach."
Learn how to use Instagram for hotel marketing , as millennials like this platform.
6. Get ready for new scenarios
Analyzed by geography, the United States represents the largest travel and tourism industry globally, expected to grow by 32% YoY and reach $83.3bn value this year, $62.1bn less than in 2019. ( TravelDailyNews )
According to US Travel Association, international inbound travel has historically served as the country's number two export. Statista reveals that in 2019, the travel and tourism industry contributed over 1.1 trillion dollars to the country's GDP.
With popular hot spots such as New York City, or the sunny states of California and Florida, travelers love to get a taste of the American dream.
What to learn: The pandemic has taken a toll on even the leader of the travel industry. 2021 saw a relatively better, if not great, picture, and hopefully, the gradual recovery will help the travel industry bounce back to pre-pandemic levels. In this situation, for 2022, it can help to be ready for a real high season or learn how to act in case of another low occupancy season.
7. Be inviting to business travelers
Business travel spending is set to reach two-thirds of pre-pandemic levels by 2022. ( WTTC & McKinsey )
Globally, business travel accounts for a great proportion of travel expenditures for high-end hotel chains and airlines. Meetings, summits, conferences, and other types of events requiring domestic and international travel are common parts of work life.
According to the joint research of the World Travel & Tourism Council and McKinsey & Company, worldwide business travel spending has risen by more than a quarter in 2021. It is expected to reach two-thirds of the pre-pandemic levels by 2022. Things are looking rosy for business travels in 2022 and beyond!
What to learn: Service providers better be prepared for their suited guests. Another update in the strategies can be adding business travelers as a target audience. Create more content for them and outreach through various channels. Here are a few tips for you.
These marketing ideas to attract business travelers can also help you out.
8. Offer well-being opportunities
76% of consumers agree they want to spend more on travel to improve their well-being. ( Amex Trendex )
This recent survey of Amex Trendex suggests that mental and physical well-being is among consumers’ top priorities in planning their travels nowadays. Especially with a global public health crisis occupying our agenda for the past year and a half, it is no surprise that wellness is on the rise in the travel industry. New initiatives will be powerful to get attractive in the next year.
What to learn: What the service providers and hoteliers can do is seek ways to accommodate these demands in the market. Improving the existing services and facilities for mental and physical wellness.
For example, you can add elements of yoga and meditation to the range of activities offered in facilities.
9. Provide a relaxation getaway
Nearly half (46%) of U.S. travelers ranked relaxation as their top motivation for traveling, with many seeking quieter, more private escapes in 2022. ( HomeToGo )
Travelling is always a special experience; for most people, it’s an experience they don’t get to have very often. Balancing work life and domestic responsibilities, as well as social ties and the necessities they bring, creates a hectic daily schedule and result in a lot of everyday stress.
Accordingly, many travelers, in turn, seek relaxation and peace in their travels—an escape from the noise and exhaustion of everyday life.
What to learn: Offering quiet and relatively private options for guests can help you improve your competitiveness. You can also curate “relaxation getaway” packages that seem to be trending solutions for this rising need.
10. Give space for uncertainty
77% of travelers said that flexible options would be important for their booking decisions in the next 12 months. ( HomeToGo )
One of the indirect side effects of the coronavirus in our lives is the concept of uncertainty. So many large-scale events and plans have had to be canceled or postponed in the past two years, as the numbers of cases fluctuate and as new variants call for new measures.
This slippery situation about schedules and making long-term plans has resulted in many travelers preferring to book flexible options.
What to learn: You can allow them to change the date range or at least offer free cancellation. Especially international visitors may need options while the borders keep opening and closing.
11. Build trust
Business travelers (61%) and wealthier American travelers (57%) say if they trust a brand, they go out of their way to purchase from them. This is higher than the average among adult travelers (44%). ( Morning Consult )
Brand trust is key to building a loyal customer base. Apparently, this is especially true for business travelers who frequently seek services from the travel industry, be it accommodation or transportation.
This makes sense, considering business trips are usually very stressful and fast-paced. Customers would naturally opt for travel options that would make their job a tad easier and allow them to feel relaxed and safe.
What to learn: Preparing custom-tailored packages, additional services, and perks for business travelers may be useful to build brand trust and loyalty. When it comes to customer satisfaction, the smallest personal touch can go a long way.
You may make use of these tips to build trust .
12. Work on reviews
95% of consumers read reviews prior to booking. Leisure travelers read an average of 6-7 reviews before booking, whereas business travelers read an average of 5. ( Tnooz )
Online reviews are one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about social proof in the travel industry for our next vacation. It’s like today’s “word of mouth,” but with a much larger reach and hence larger influence.
What to learn: Customers also want to see social proof from actual customers that have experienced your services. This is especially true for leisure travelers for whom the travels are an “experience” in itself and not just the side perks of some work occasion.
13. Get social and communicate
82% of consumers trust a company more if they are involved with social media. ( Forbes )
Speaking of social proof, it’s impossible to deny how important social media is for marketing today. This applies to nearly all industries, but maybe more so in service industries. Here is why: they require businesses to maintain great relationships with the customers and put them at the center as much as possible.
Social media allows companies to engage directly with the target audiences and even create a community around the brand on certain social media platforms.
What to learn: You better keep up with the trends and demands of the customer base and adapt more quickly to their needs. As a result, you build stronger and lasting relationships with your current and potential customer base.
14. Be prepared for upcoming international travel
Europeans' intentions for outbound travel are now almost 90 percent of the pre-Corona level, while Americans' are around 70 percent and Asians' over 60 percent. ( IPK International )
Europe and the US were among the places where the coronavirus spread most rapidly at the beginning of the pandemic around early 2020. But they were also as quick to respond to the pandemic with effective public health and safety measures.
Last year, countries such as Mexico and Turkey got more tourists as a result of the lack of restrictions. However, it may change. EU countries are now vaccinating the population under 12, which has resulted in an overall increase in public health and a decrease in anxiety regarding travel plans.
What to learn: Along with the vaccination and upon opening the borders, people started to feel eager to travel. After a long time, international tourist arrivals can be unexpectedly busy.
15. Go greener with simple steps
(As of 2021) 83% of travelers worldwide believe that sustainable tourism is essential. ( Statista )
According to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) sustainable tourism “takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities.”
Climate change and environmental crises are urgent concerns for the majority of travelers today, and 83% want to make conscious travel choices as much as possible.
What to learn : For the travel industry, this means undergoing a green transformation is not just for higher sales rates but also for the planet!
Here is how to manage sustainability in your hotel.
16. Improve your online presence
Over 70% of US travelers agree that they “always” use their smartphones when traveling, up from 41% in 2015. ( Google/PhocusWright)
From the beginning to the end, mobile devices are now travelers’ loyal companions - and not just for making calls like they were initially meant for. This is not only valid for the planning, and booking stages like one would guess, but also during the travel experience itself.
From using the maps features to navigate to looking up local hotspots, restaurants, shopping areas, events, and things to do, travelers seem to rely increasingly more on their smartphones.
What to learn: If you’re in the travel industry, especially the hospitality sector, your online presence and how you optimize it with the proper SEO and local SEO techniques can play an integral role in building brand awareness and reaching the right audience. You can start with improving your hotel photography.
17. Flash deals are a good idea
Searches for “last-minute hotel deals” have grown globally by over 70% year over year. ( Google Data )
If you know a couple of things about digital marketing and the travel industry, you know that Google’s insights and research reports are the places to look for the latest trends.
The most recent travel trends report of Google revealed that “last minute hotel deals” were among the top search inquiries regarding travels, along with “last minute hotel deals London,” “last minute hotel deals near me,” and “secret last minute hotel deals.”
What to learn: It makes sense, considering how volatile and unpredictable the global economy has been in recent years. People just want the best deal, and if they come across the right one, they are willing to bend their expectations around it.
Especially around the holiday season, it’s a good idea to plan flash deals and campaigns that your audience just cannot resist.
18. Care about cleaning even more
65% of US adults say they would stop purchasing from a travel brand if it did not follow safety precautions, and 62% would stop purchasing if a company failed to clean regularly ( Morning Consult )
Brand trust can make or break customer loyalty. It should, then, be part of your brand strategy to keep up with certain standards of service and customer communications at all times. Now that we’re in the thick of a global health crisis, safety and sanitation are among the main criteria that customers expect travel businesses to meet.
In fact, according to this survey, for a significant number of US adults, a breach of safety precautions or lack of decent sanitation by travel companies can be a dealbreaker.
What to learn: Keep your hotel disinfected and let your potential guests know it. However, it would help to remember you also need to provide sustainable travel for your upcoming guests. Find a balance.
19. Start your hotel blog
70% of travelers say they will spend more time finding things to do at their travel destination in 2021. ( TripAdvisor )
You can have a beautiful destination, even perfect hospitality services with top-notch customer service, but it seems that these alone are not enough to capture travelers’ hearts. Ever heard of the term “experiential travel”?
It's a form of tourism where people like to be immersed in the place they're visiting, "experience" that place instead of being a mere spectator savoring the pretty landscapes. This approach to travel is apparently on the rise, as people have started to look for activities and local events peculiar to their intended travel destinations.
What to learn: People expect brands to present them with travel "experiences" that are organically blended into the locality and not just a glamorous retreat isolated from the surroundings.
It's time to start your hotel blog or create even more content about your area if you still haven't. This will also help you be found on Google searches.
20. Make value a priority
"Budget hotels in" searches have grown by more than 300% worldwide since last year. (Think with Google)
A new insight from Google shows that economic and social uncertainty affects hotel guests' behavior. People's recent spending habits reveal that they prioritize getting value for their money while also satisfying their needs.
Taking a closer look at summer travel expenditures, it is evident that people want to get the most for their money, for instance, by booking "cheap last-minute flights.”
When we look at local expenditures, we can see that people are returning to the lifestyle they had before the pandemic. While doing so, we notice that they make an effort to take advantage of services that are either discounted or offered for free.
Last but not least, there is a growing interest in affordable real estate.
What to learn: You can get more customers if you give discounts to people who live close by. It's also smart to give your customers access to some of your services at no cost. You need to give customers what they paid for.
In addition, we recommend you make booking a room for last-minute-comers easy.
The Future of the Travel Trends in 2022 and Beyond
The travel industry is slowly recovering after the economic downturn of 2020. During these times of transition, these statistics and trends in the travel & tourism world are guiding the hotels to find out the way. Travelers' expectations, travel spending, and international tourism is changing shape. And it's important to adapt to the changing conditions to keep your business strong.
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Hotel Marketing Ideas to Attract Business Travelers
How to host a hotel staycation this summer, guide to sustainable and eco-friendly travel, how your hotel can attract business travelers, 7 hotel sustainability trends you should consider, going the extra mile for your hotel guests once travel picks back up.
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Top Business Travel Trends 2024
Oct 31, 2022 | Aiport Concierge , Airport Life
Table of Contents
Nowadays business travel shows no sign of slowing down as the world opens to a new era of travel. Even in this world of instant communication and social media, business travel is as necessary and advantageous as ever where Global Business Travel Association recently announced a surge in business travel demand.
Business Travelers are hitting the road for meetings and conferences and sales presentations, etc. Therefore, Business travelers are looking for service providers who can value add to their offerings with additional amenities, drinks, extra legroom, and other inclusions and services.
Why Do Businessmen Travel So Much?
Businessmen usually travel to a different location for meeting suppliers or business partners , attending business meeting, conferences, Trade shows, exhibitions, investment, opening new offices and branches for their company and much more. Clearly, companies still see value in business travel. One of the main reasons why business travel is important is the personal interaction that builds good foundations for a future or existing relationship. This can also reduce miscommunication and encourage almost a sense of unity. As the concept of travel looks to be a reliable tool that helps you to streamline your business operations at a higher level.
Travelling makes business managers or owners establish many new connections. More importantly, it provides you with an opportunity to meet different kinds of people such as investors, freelancers, suppliers, and so on. Interestingly, you can also meet many potential customers who can create a great impact on your business.
airssist offers high quality services for business travelers , which save their time and make their business trip easier and more enjoyable such as; Meet and Greet , Fast Track, VIP Terminal , Airport Transfer , Executive Security, Airport Assistance and VIP Services
7 Different Types of Business Travel Purposes
1- event and conference travel.
Many companies send their employees to corporate events and conferences. Conference attendees may attend seminars and workshops, as well as organized meals or networking sessions. These events are meant to offer professional learning and development, while facilitating networking with peers, potential clients, and service providers.
2- Company retreats
Some companies choose to hold retreats annually or multiple times per year. Corporate retreats help teams grow stronger and build company culture through shared activities. They can also provide remote teams with some much-needed “face time” — this is especially important for remote-first businesses, some of which don’t have any offices at all.
3- Internal meetings and visiting offices
For national and multinational companies with multiple offices, business travel is a key way to ensure the entire organization is aligned. Employees and leadership may need to travel to other offices to discuss specific projects and business strategy. They may also visit other offices to build a more integrated organizational culture.
4- Trade fairs
Trade fairs, also known as trade shows or trade exhibitions, are a key sales channel in certain industries. Trade fairs give companies the opportunity to present their products or services to interested buyers. They can be a valuable tool for direct sales, brand awareness, and building customer relationships.
Employees of both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies may travel to exhibit at trade shows . B2B trade shows are focused more on relationship-building, while B2C trade shows are geared towards direct sales.
5- Client meetings
Employees or executives may need to travel to meet clients or prospects. In some countries, such as Japan, face-to-face meetings and informal gatherings are an important part of the local business culture, so business travel is essential in order to maintain strong client relationships.
6- Bleisure travel
Bleisure travel is very popular where Bleisure travelers extend their business trips to leave time for sightseeing and relaxation. Since business trips often involve visiting interesting new cities or countries, it’s understandable that many travelers are eager to make the most of their travel experience and see a bit of the world.This hybrid travel style can be beneficial to both employers and employees. By allowing bleisure travel, businesses can encourage employees to volunteer for business trips more often. In addition, travelers may benefit from the relaxing break, arriving back at the office refreshed and recharged.
7- Transfers and offshore work
While a typical business trip lasts only a few days or weeks, long-term transfers are a much more significant commitment. Employees sometimes need to relocate to a different city or country for a certain period of time. They may be required to work on a specific project, set up a new function or business process, or otherwise transfer knowledge from one location to another. Transfers are often more challenging than short-term business travel, especially when they involve moving to another country. In this case, businesses may need to handle visas and taxation paperwork. They’ll also need to support the transferred employee with issues like culture shock, finding housing, and setting up their lives in the new location.
airssist offers range of unique services for business travelers in more over 700 airports around the world, such as Airport Lounges service which are often filled with complimentary amenities such as premium food and snacks, fully stocked bars, modern shower facilities, fast Wi-Fi, plentiful power outlets, comfortable working areas and much more.
Business Travelers Needs:
Business travelers have specific needs that are different from those of leisure travelers. Here are some important considerations for business travelers:
1. Efficient Transportation: Business travelers need reliable and efficient modes of transportation to reach their destinations. This includes flights with convenient schedules, reliable ground transportation options such as taxis or car rentals, and access to public transportation if available.
2. Business-Friendly Accommodation: Business travelers require accommodations that offer a comfortable working environment. This includes amenities like high-speed internet access, a well-equipped workspace, and access to business centers or meeting rooms.
3. Connectivity: Business travelers need to stay connected while on the road. Access to reliable and fast internet connectivity is crucial for communication, accessing online resources, and conducting business-related tasks.
4. Convenient Location : Proximity to business centers, conference venues, and client offices is important for business travelers. Being located in or near commercial districts or business hubs can save valuable time and make it easier to attend meetings and events.
5. Security: Business travelers often carry important documents, electronic devices, and sensitive information. They require hotels or accommodations that provide adequate security measures, such as secure access to rooms, safes for storing valuables, and privacy features.
6. Business Services: Business travelers may need access to additional services such as photocopying, printing, faxing, courier services, and secretarial support. Hotels with business centers or concierge services can cater to these needs.
7. Fitness and Wellness Facilities: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while traveling is crucial for business travelers. Hotels with fitness centers, swimming pools, or access to nearby gyms can help them stay active and relieve stress.
8. Dining Options: Business travelers often have time constraints and may need quick and convenient dining options. Hotels with on-site restaurants, room service, or nearby dining establishments can provide the necessary convenience.
9. Loyalty Programs: Many business travelers participate in loyalty programs offered by airlines, hotels, and car rental companies. These programs can provide benefits such as priority check-in, upgrades, and access to exclusive lounges.
10. Travel Support: Business travelers may require assistance with travel arrangements, itinerary changes, or other logistical needs. Access to a dedicated travel desk or concierge service can be invaluable in managing these aspects of their trip.
It’s worth noting that the specific needs of business travelers can vary depending on their industry, the purpose of their trip, and personal preferences. Therefore, it’s important for business travelers to communicate their requirements to travel agents or accommodation providers to ensure their needs are met.
With airssist we ensure business travelers a relaxed business travel experience .
Frequency of Business Trips
Business Traveler travels nine times a year on average as business trip frequency is between one and five times a year. Recently, Business trips are reported to last 6 days on average, with an average minimum of two and a maximum of 28 days.
The fact is, the younger members of the workforce aren’t complaining about having to travel for work as Most of them consider business travel to be a perk of the job, and 65% of them see it as a status symbol.
Why Business Travel Industry Is Growing?
Business travel is growing, thanks to factors like globalisation and the availability of flights where Business travel is a division of regular tourism in which people travel for a business-oriented purpose. It includes transportation, accommodation, business work, entertainment, and other activities.
The business travel segment witnesses the highest growth rate in Global travel & tourism industry, as employees working in multinational organizations are often required ttravel across various countries for business purposes. In business tourism, destinations are commercial places, which are well-developed and suited for trade work.
Which Businesses Industry Travel the Most?
Business travel is a critical input to virtually every industry and business. And some industries use travel much more intensely than others.
The industry of Food Processing and Services is an enormous and fast-growing industry with a high level of business travel intensity that jumped up the Global BTI (Business Travel International) rankings this year and is now the largest business travel sector in the world with $112.1 Billion USD spent on business travel.
6 Business Travel Advantages
When you have a busy travel schedule, you never know who you might meet, what skills you might acquire or what new horizons await. Here are 6 great benefits of business Travel:
Enjoying everything in the new place:
For instance, if you’re a history buff, it means limitless museums and historical sites and If you’re a foodie, this means staking out the best restaurants, food carts and hole in the wall diners around the world.
Face to face meetings are more effective
Remote interactions are adequate but not as effective as when you meet in real life. Face to face meetings are essential for established long term business relationships. You can get more deals made and create longer lasting and stronger business relationships when you meet face-to-face, as fostering and maintaining relationships is a vital part of the process.
No routine burnout for you
If you get bored doing the same old thing every day, business travel can help keep things interesting. It’s one way to make sure the daily grind isn’t so “daily” after all where humans are creatures of habit but also prone to boredom. Traveling for business ensures that you’ll never get stuck in the rut of daily routine.
Discover different ways of working
Travel is a fantastic tool for broadening your mind and expanding your knowledge. When you travel for business, you get the chance to experience new places, new cultures and different ways of working, all of which will help you build a more well-rounded world view. Interacting with and experiencing different cultures will also help to foster creativity, which you can then bring to your job. Research shows that business travel cultivated creativity and productivity, two traits which will help you get noticed at your job.
One of the most valuable benefits of travel is that it puts you out of your comfort zone and helps to build your confidence. As The commute to the office is automatic, our everyday tasks do not challenge us, but Business Travel plucks you out of that routine and challenges you to adapt to a whole new environment. Navigating a new city successfully, understanding and acknowledging cultural differences and successfully building a business relationship or closing a deal will give you a huge confidence boost and help you navigate unfamiliar and challenging situations in the future.
Business travel improves your time management skills in a great way. You cannot relax in your business travel as you have to follow your time schedules to meet your clients in your destination. An experienced traveller is considered to be a good planner in handling the available time. Remember the fact money lost can be recovered, but a time lost is lost forever.
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Top 6 Business Travel Trends 2024
1- business is almost always mixed with pleasure:.
The rise of bleisure travel (Business + Leisure) proves to be one of the most significant outcomes of the demographic shift in corporate travel, as the workforce becoming younger so more employees now are looking to do more than work during their trips away from the office.
Bleisure travelers go on these trips once every two to three months. More than half of international business travelers plan to extend business trips to accommodate leisure activities at their destination.
2- Unconventional accommodations are in
There is a growing popularity of unconventional accommodations where Business travelers have become more open to considering staying somewhere other than traditional chain hotels. More are opting to stay in apartments and other accommodations that have a more homey feel.
Smaller boutique hotels and home-like accommodations, enjoy increased popularity among business travelers today which provide opportunities for exploring the destination in new ways. More travelers also stay further away from the city center, as comfort and proximity to leisure activities are prioritized.
3- Travel as a time to connect
Managers are seeking events with a powerful mix of networking and content so Flying for business which can now be conducted remotely, is being replaced by travel for bonding and training.
This can facilitate networking, skills development, and recruitment. For remote teams, purposeful in-person interaction can be a game-changer for morale.
4- Self-booking is becoming the norm
There are numerous self-booking options that business professionals can leverage. This trend towards self-booking may also be another offshoot of the generational shift in corporate travelers. After all, millennials prefer self-booking when they travel so that they can find flights and accommodations that meet their preferences.
5- More flexible corporate travel policies
Travelers are now more likely to go outside employer-approved channels when booking properties and transportation for their trips.
Corporate travelers need a booking process that provides better availability and allows them to choose from more property and rate options. Combined with emerging preferences for unconventional accommodations, the need for more varied booking options pushes corporate travel policies to become more flexible.
6- Flipping the trip script
Enabled by technology and evolving corporate policies, business travelers are taking more extended, unconventional trips and seizing new opportunities for bleisure and in-person connection.
Employees and employers will have to work together to adapt corporate travel policies, as well as the purpose and design of trips, to meet the needs of a younger workforce demanding a new way to work and explore.
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The best and worst airlines for business travel.
The ratings for best and worst airlines are constantly evolving. First came the pandemic, then spiking oil costs, like a fabled one-two punch to the airline industry domestically and worldwide.
The airline industry struggled to keep full staff, with shortages of pilots, inflight crew members, gate staff and baggage handlers. Shortages in all those categories led to longer time on the ground at the gate. For many months, there seemed to be little hope to reduce congestion and get planes off and on the ground on time.
Today, business travelers weary of cancellations and delays are choosing on-time departures and arrivals as their top desire, with in-flight amenities such as free in-flight refreshments taking a back seat. The main trend in customer complaints has been lack of timeliness, rather than costs.
We didn’t consider reports of animal-related incidents as we developed our ratings, feeling that animal incidents weren’t a key factor for business travelers. We’ve searched customer satisfaction ratings and compiled a list of the best and worst airlines for business travel.
Airline Industry Rankings
As stated, the ratings are constantly evolving. For example, United Airlines recently inked a new pilot contract which boosts their pay – will that help ease the pilot shortage?
If you want to keep tabs on ratings, based on key findings such as customer complaints and customer satisfaction, the American Customer Satisfaction Index travel report is an easy measure and a good place to start. The ACSI ratings compare the best airlines to the worst airlines, using customer ratings on four major categories, including the reservation process, baggage handling, timely arrivals and inflight amenities.
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Another rating system is the WalletHub score, which includes costs such as inflight amenities, baggage costs, customer service, reliability, price, customer comfort and more.
- READ MORE : Best 8 Airlines for Business Class, Your Must-See Guide
Choosing the Right Airlines for Business Travel
When it comes to selecting airlines for your business travel needs, we understand the importance of making a decision that aligns perfectly with your goals. Whether you’re a small business owner or an entrepreneur, your choice of airline can significantly impact your overall travel experience and business productivity. Here are the criteria we believe you should consider, along with their importance on a scale of 1 to 10, when choosing the best airlines for your business travel:
- Reliability (9/10) : Ensuring that your flights are consistently on time and that you can rely on the airline’s schedule is paramount for business travelers.
- Cost-effectiveness (8/10) : Finding a balance between cost and quality service is crucial. Your budget matters, but so does the value you receive.
- In-Flight Comfort (7/10) : Comfortable seating, legroom, and amenities can make long flights more productive and enjoyable.
- Customer Service (7/10) : Access to responsive customer support can be a lifesaver when unexpected issues arise during your travels.
- Route Network (8/10) : An extensive route network ensures you have options and can reach the destinations that matter most for your business.
- Policies (6/10) : Understanding an airline’s policies on baggage, cancellations, and loyalty programs is essential to managing your travel efficiently.
- Amenities (6/10) : Depending on your preferences, amenities such as in-flight entertainment, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary snacks can enhance your travel experience.
- Loyalty Programs (5/10) : If you’re a frequent traveler, consider enrolling in an airline’s loyalty program for added perks and rewards.
- Special Services (4/10) : If your business has unique needs, such as pet transportation or group bookings, check if the airline can accommodate them effectively.
- Flexibility (7/10) : Opt for an airline with flexible booking and cancellation policies to adapt to changing business plans.
- Alliances (5/10) : If you frequently travel internationally, consider airlines that belong to global alliances for seamless connections and benefits.
- Stay Informed (8/10) : Keep up with industry developments to ensure your chosen airline aligns with your business requirements.
Best and Worst Domestic Airlines for Business
Delta Airlines is the major airline that consistently gets top ratings in most categories.
With our airline ranking, we’ve started with the worst to start the list. However, keep in mind that some choices may be more or less important to a variety of business travelers.
For example, you may choose lower-cost flights over amenities. You’d rather grab a water bottle and snack from a kiosk in the terminal than have such a cost added to the ticket fee. Or, it may be of utmost importance to you to have a comfortable airline seat and free wifi.
- READ MORE: These Airlines Offer the Best (and Worst) WiFi for Business Travelers’
We didn’t include American Airlines, as the carrier has been canceling massive numbers of flights, including 700 on one day in late June 2022. American has also dropped service to some major US cities, which will also affect the operations of Envoy Air. Envoy Air is American’s regional carrier.
We didn’t include ratings on two regional carriers, Skywest Airlines and Hawaiian airlines. Skywest Airlines is a leading regional carrier in the U.S. Hawaiian Airlines offers nonstop flights from the US mainland and international locations to Hawaii and back. Both Skywest and Hawaiian have good domestic ratings with low numbers of complaints.
Here are details on the reasons for the ratings of each airline.
8. Spirit Airlines
Spirit Airlines has consistently rated the worst airline for customer service, mainly due to customer complaints about mishandled luggage and denied boardings.
However, airfare costs are inexpensive and there are no free amenities.
7. Frontier Airlines
Frontier Airlines also has low ratings for customer service with complaints about flight delays, baggage mishaps, and a lack of amenities – no wifi, beverages or snacks. However, business class passengers like Frontier for its consistently low ticket prices.
6. JetBlue Airways
JetBlue Airways rates high in onboard comfort with extra legroom in economy class, which enhances the in-flight experience. JetBlue is also offering free amenities with in-flight refreshments, complimentary snacks, inflight entertainment, and wi-fi. Ticket rates are affordable, but the airline has a high number of passenger opinions expressed as complaints about delay rates.
5. Allegiant Air
Allegiant Air transportation gets a good total score as one of the key regional carriers known for flights into smaller, regional airports. In addition to offering that convenient service, Allegiant gets good ratings for its low-cost tickets.
4. United Airlines
As mentioned, the new United Airlines pilot contract boosts their pay. United is rated one of the best airlines for customer comfort level, and is also rated as one of the safest airline choices. During the past year or two, the highest number of passenger complaints involve flight delays or cancellations, but with the new pilot contract, United could become a reliable airline for online departures and arrivals. That may change in the industry, as more airlines undertake the issue of not only pilot wages but wages including gate staff and inflight crews.
3. Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines tops The Points Guy List (travel website rating loyalty programs) and gets high ratings in so many other aspects and major categories. The Points Guy and customers rate Southwest as the best airline for baggage (free) and its no-fee cancellation policy.
2. Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines has top ratings for customer service and is rated the best airline for reliability, in-flight comfort, and price. Alaska Air is rated for having one of the best frequent flyer programs in airline travel circles. Despite its name, it’s not just one of the regional players, with plenty of flight options throughout the country.
1. Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines takes the lead among airlines as the best overall operations, with few instances of mishandled baggage and measures taken to increase passenger comforts, such as comfortable seating and easy reservations and check-ins. Delta is rated the most reliable airline domestically, as far as on-time departures and arrivals. It’s one of the airlines based in nearly all major US cities.
According to opinions expressed by passengers, customer service gets high ratings, with a low number of complaints in that category. Delta topped Alaska airlines, which got the nationwide safety runner-up to Delta.
The landscape of the airline industry for business travel has seen significant shifts in recent times, driven by a series of challenges, from the pandemic to soaring oil prices. These factors have forced airlines to adapt and evolve their services, impacting the experiences of business travelers.
One prominent trend in the business travel arena is the heightened importance of reliability. Business travelers now prioritize on-time departures and arrivals over other considerations, recognizing that time is of the essence in the fast-paced world of commerce. Timeliness has taken center stage, reflecting a shift away from a focus on costs.
As we’ve delved into the world of airline rankings, we’ve carefully considered various factors and criteria. Our methodology for evaluating and ranking airlines takes into account customer satisfaction ratings and feedback. We’ve looked at key dimensions such as reservation processes, baggage handling, timely arrivals, and in-flight amenities.
It’s worth noting that the rankings we’ve provided are not static; they evolve as the industry does. Recent developments, such as United Airlines’ new pilot contract, have the potential to influence rankings and impact the overall landscape of the airline industry.
For those seeking to stay informed about airline ratings, resources like the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) travel report and the WalletHub score provide valuable insights. These sources offer data-driven evaluations that can guide business travelers in making informed decisions when choosing their preferred airline.
In the ever-changing world of business travel, it’s crucial for small business owners and entrepreneurs to consider a wide range of factors when selecting the right airline. Each criterion we’ve outlined, from reliability to customer service and amenities, plays a unique role in shaping the travel experience. What’s most important may vary from one traveler to another, depending on their specific needs and preferences.
Ultimately, the goal is to choose an airline that aligns with your business objectives, enhances your productivity, and ensures a smooth and efficient journey. By weighing these criteria and staying informed about industry developments, you can make the best decisions for your business travel needs.
As we continue to navigate the dynamic world of business travel, we’ll be here to provide you with valuable insights and guidance to help you make informed choices. Whether it’s selecting the right airline, exploring the best business class options, or staying up-to-date with the latest trends, we’re dedicated to supporting your journey toward successful and hassle-free business travel.
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I know American Airlines is awful, but excluded? Cruel!
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Demand for ‘bleisure’ travel bolstered by post-pandemic flexible working trends
Posted: November 9, 2023 | Last updated: November 9, 2023
‘Bleisure’, a trend of combining a work trip with leisure activities, is becoming a mainstream and sustained component of travel and hospitality demand, according to new data from global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal.
According to the survey of 3818 global travellers, close to a third (31%) have taken combined business and leisure trips in the past 12 months. When examining the reasons behind the growth, the prevailing motivation was the flexibility afforded by working schedules (41%), demonstrating the profound impact that additional versatility around working schedules, post-pandemic, is having upon holiday habits. Other motivations included the cost of living (37%), the facilities at the accommodation (36%) and availability of family or friends at the destination (31%).
Regarding the approach to bleisure travel, only a minority (27%) indicated the preference for leisure as a precursor to a work-related trip, whilst nearly half (45%) extended their business trips with leisure activity at the end, showing a desire to unwind and explore following work commitments, see Table 1 . Notably, bleisure trips tend to be relatively short in duration, with only 4% of respondents opting to extend their stay by five nights or more.
Table 1: Methods of combining business and leisure travel
Alvarez & Marsal managing director and head of travel, hospitality, and leisure, Ed Bignold , said: "The travel industry has demonstrated extraordinary post-Covid resilience, and the rise of ‘bleisure’ trips to a mainstream travel option is yet another example of how the industry has adapted and flexed to consumers’ ever-changing preferences.
"This latest data is most interesting however, as it provides evidence that the new ‘bleisure’ demand base is both more significant than many expected and being sustained over a meaningful period of time, which therefore has implications for how travel and hospitality operators are defining their products, brands and distribution, as well as for investors and owners insofar as the CAPEX choices being made at the asset level."
"Demand for ‘bleisure’ travel bolstered by post-pandemic flexible working trends" was originally created and published by International Accounting Bulletin , a GlobalData owned brand.
The information on this site has been included in good faith for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely, and we give no representation, warranty or guarantee, whether express or implied as to its accuracy or completeness. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content on our site.
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Winds of Change in the Hospitality Industry
photo by Steve Chai
At the opening session of the 2023 Global Hospitality Conclave held at the Oberoi in New Delhi, India, Chekitan Dev , the Singapore Tourism Distinguished Professor and professor of marketing at the Cornell Peter and Stephanie Nolan School of Hotel Administration , discussed ten major travel trends in the changing world of hospitality, travel, and tourism with Nolan Hotel School alumnus Hari Nair , MMH ’02, senior vice president, lodging partners, at Expedia Group.
“ Global Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism Trends: A conversation with Hari Nair of Expedia Group ,” a report by Dev published by the Nolan School’s Center for Hospitality Research , presents detailed insights from their discussion.
“The global hospitality, travel and tourism industries worldwide are being dramatically buffeted by the winds of change,” says Dev. “The exponential increase in the sheer volume of travel, changing customer needs and expectations, entry of novel and disruptive competitors, evolution of what customers value, commoditization stress exerted by intermediaries, introduction of new technology and digital transformation, a shift from legacy media as the key source of inspiration and influence, and increasing pressure to be better stewards of the planet are just a few of the trends that are making life for hospitality, travel, and tourism decision makers much more complicated.”
Read Dev’s full report: Global Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism Trends: A conversation with Hari Nair of Expedia Group
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chekitan Dev is the Singapore Tourism Distinguished Professor and professor of marketing at the Nolan Hotel School. An internationally renowned scholar and thought leader on marketing and branding in the hospitality, travel, and tourism industries, he teaches courses on brand and marketing management.