Business Travel Management: 2022 Business Travel Landscape

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The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) shares expert insights on navigating the business travel landscape in 2022.

BEST TAKEAWAYS:

  • Readiness for business travel is high

  • 60% of American and European companies have started

  • non-essential domestic travel

  • Expect a full-scale office return in Q1 2022

  • Testing will become a standard part of business travel

  • Diet

Vaccination rollouts, reopening of offices and easing of quarantine requirements have presented businesses with an opportunity to re-engage face-to-face. For some industries, travel has never stopped. However, for some, 2022 will see the resumption of “normal” travel activity after a significant break in connectivity.

What to expect:

Understanding the new and ever-changing travel landscape will be key to making informed decisions to best support your business goals for 2022 and beyond. Engaging with key stakeholders to navigate changes to approval processes, vendors, public health, technology, duty of care and sustainability will be just some of the topics of discussion . According to a 2021 Deloitte business travel survey [1], 2022 will mark the beginning of a new vision for business travel, with COVID-19 no longer the primary focus and concern for businesses. The notion of executive approval to embark on an inner journey will become a thing of the past.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s largest trade association representing the global travel industry, connects business travel professionals on every continent with the knowledge, research and advocacy needed to navigate in the rapidly changing landscape of business travel. They have been busy during the pandemic offering virtual training sessions to travel buyers and suppliers to provide important educational updates in the travel industry.

Following the release of its latest Global Business Travel COVID-19 Recovery Survey, CTM interviewed GBTA CEO Suzanne Neufang to discuss the key challenges currently facing the global travel community. business.

“The travel industry’s response to the pandemic has seen suppliers step in, fully committed to serving their customers and the public. They have acted as gatekeepers of test results and vaccination status where necessary, providing new services and tools to understand the state of “normal” at the time. And each brand helped its frontline employees enable essential travel to continue. That level of adaptability and resilience certainly didn’t appeal to me. surprised, coming from an industry well adapted to change,” said Neufang.

GBTA’s COVID-19 recovery survey, conducted in mid-October 2021, revealed an increasingly optimistic outlook and willingness to travel:

  • Resuming non-essential travel More than 60% of U.S. and European businesses surveyed have resumed at least some non-essential domestic travel. 21% have resumed non-essential international travel, the best position since the start of the pandemic. Among those who have not yet resumed travel, 72% of respondents in Europe and 42% of respondents in the United States plan to resume domestic travel within three months (by January 2022).

  • International travel is resuming 47% of European respondents, 38% of Latin Americans, 23% of American respondents and 16% of Canadian respondents indicated that their company plans to resume international business travel within three months (from by January 2022).

“There’s the issue of preparing business travelers – dipping a toe in the travel pond is more worrying for some employees than others. There’s also the issue of changing local requirements – Are the rules at the destination the same as the city or state, province or region the traveler is coming from? Education and access to information remain essential to ensure maximum trust and confidence. ‘duty of care,'” Neufang said.

CTM’s 2022 Business Travel Survey, conducted in November 2021, showed that more than half of respondents had taken a flight since July 2021. Traveler confidence was higher than expected, with 87% of respondents feeling somewhat to very confident (3-5/5) traveling domestically and 60% feeling somewhat to very confident (3-5/5) traveling abroad.

Neufang also added that one of the main considerations is whether there is a place available to meet for business on the other side of that plane, train or car trip. Cushman & Wakefield’s [2] recent research suggests that by the second quarter of 2022, 70% of the planet will be vaccinated and current trends suggest that most office workers worldwide will be able to return to the office in the first quarter of 2022. Currently, the occupation of office buildings stands at 40% and it is expected that by early 2022, cities and office buildings will be invigorated as employees return to work.

When asked what gaps remained in business travel services and solutions to enable a return to pre-pandemic travel activity, Neufang identified two key areas for the coming year.

“There is still a major opportunity for pandemic-related due diligence offerings – from white-glove consulting expertise to more technology-enabled applications. And access to COVID-19 test kits must be more widely available and affordable around the world. so these can be part of a daily health regimen for any business traveler before, during and after their trip.”

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