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A CitySuites Study: Trends & Innovations In Corporate Travel

04/07/2023

Business travel has long been an evolving landscape. The working environment's consistent changes and adaptations in response to worldwide events have allowed us to identify any upcoming and recurrent trends (as well as technological innovations) that business travellers can expect. 

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Holistic Tourism Trends

Since COVID-19, industries worldwide have had to adapt to unforeseen circumstances: tourism included. 

Pre-arrival checks, lockdowns and limited travel meant things like going on holidays became a narrower experience. 

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Since the start of 2023 (when COVID-19 was officially declared finished on a global scale), things started to pick up. Trends became focused on the lines of mental health due to the strain of mandatory homestays (such as the introduction of working from home) to minimise the risk of contamination.

Other trends started picking up too. Contactless payment, for example, became a recurring method due to minimised risk of contamination.

But how does business travel differ? 

Corporate Travel Trends

In its entirety, business tourism changed in ways that prioritised employee wellbeing.

Remote Working 

Remote working was introduced back around 1980 and saw increased implementation when the pandemic hit worldwide. 

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With good reason. Remote working was an exceptional alternative to the traditional workplace. Employees worked from home with ease, and the convenience far outweighed the potential risks. 

The start of 2023 saw bigger opportunities for remote workers. From working abroad to hiring out private meeting spaces, remote work for business travel elevated the experience. 

Sustainable Practices

Sustainability has been around for a long time and has continued to be a trend for both business and leisure markets. 

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The concept of "mindful" travel is set to be an occurring desire for business travellers. The UK in itself has seen more corporate travellers desiring sustainable choices when travelling. 

Wellness Practices 

Particularly for Gen Z professionals, wellness is set to become a top trend in 2023. Wellness refers to the care of the mind. In the space of travelling, an experience that initiates mental well-being is a concept that younger business travellers are looking for. 

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From natural walks to animal therapy retreats, the need for wellness during travel is slowly but consistently becoming a high priority.

Innovations For Corporate Travel In 2023

The desire for change is what seems to be the exciting concept that businesses are bringing for corporate travellers. 

In the video below, Phocus Wire conducted an interview that indicated the predictions by CEOs of travel companies: Tripkicks and Amtrav.

Thirst for innovation, desire for change for convenience (for travellers) and better experiences are just some of the ways business travel is anticipated to bring consumers, according to the video. 

With that said, they also touched upon an interesting point about exciting innovations for business travellers. 

The need for personalisation 

2023 has seen more implementation of AI, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and machine learning, making personalisation more possible than ever. 

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Personalisation covers everything down to the booking experience of each customer. According to Business Travel News Europe, "personalisation that bypasses intermediaries" drives the next phase of personalisation within the travel industry.

With personalisation comes the demand for a concept called "bleisure" travel - another innovation in corporate tourism. 

Bleisure travelling

Bleisure travel is the means of combining business and leisure components during a holiday. For example, extending your business travel to have more leisure time. 

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Corporate travel is an understandably higher priority for lots of employees due to the flexibility it provides. The drive for more remote work is the main reason for this - Clyde Travel Management explained that with employees able to work from anywhere, Bleisure travel has become possible.

Because bleisure is becoming more common, choices for things like accommodation and food are also changing.

Better health options 

Frequent travellers worry about keeping normal routines in place, which is where accommodation businesses come in. 

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Those offering tourist accommodations (whether it's Airbnbs, hotels or aparthotels) should consider delivering healthy food options for business travel guests who want to look after their own health in diverse ways.

If anyone is on a specific diet, or strictly prefers vegan, delivering on these requirements will likely have business travellers - who are often on the go - book your stay. 

But what about accommodations?

Unconventional accommodations

Non-traditional accommodations are options making their way into business travel before the COVID-19 days.

Corporate tourists are now more open to staying in unconventional houses. Some are even considering staying outside the city as opposed to inside to explore the area more. However, the need for diverse accommodation expands to more "experience" orientated stays. 

Hospitality On created a deep dive into some of the most unusual (but equally attractive) accommodations available for travellers. These include cliffside cabins with a panoramic view in Corsica, an urban lodge themed on the likes of Gaston and the Marsupilami in Brussels and an unconventional lighthouse in Brittany, France.  

Business Travel Is Always Evolving

In response to many global changes, business travel has always adapted as consumer requirements became more varied.

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We've seen a big shift since COVID-19's effects on the world. The move to essential work from home, limited travel, and effects on the national economy created a change that affected the travel patterns of corporate travellers. 

Whether they go out for bleisure, for networking purposes or for attending conferences, one thing is certain:

Corporate travel will always adapt! 

 

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