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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Trends In Business Travel
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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Trends In Business Travel - Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: Trends In Business Travel

Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: Trends In Business Travel

The year is drawing to a close, so we thought it would be interesting to see what experts predicted would be 2017’s business travel trends. It was originally our hope to rate each prediction as spot-on or bogus, but that turned out not to be very easy. Trends take time either to establish themselves or to fall by the wayside, usually a lot more than just a calendar year. Since the predictions were based on solid evidence up to the point there were made, it’s simply too soon to say whether or not they were accurate. At this point, all one can really say is that trends begun a year or two ago have continued, but because some of this is new conversational ground, and since all of it is interesting, here is a cross-section of those predictions. Will they pan out in 2018, or will something new emerge?

A year ago, Forbes pointed to data saying 7 of 10 business travelers in the United States (78 percent), Italy (77 percent), Canada (74 percent) and Spain (73 percent) prefer using self-service technology to manage their travel. This means the standard model of pre-approved choices for lodging, car rental, and air travel is less than satisfying to some, especially when personalized options via mobile apps offer wider variety, lower prices, and flexibility the establishment mostly cannot match.

Concur, a company providing services to travel managers, says business travelers stay an average of five nights when house-sharing (via Airbnb or similar services) compared to three nights when staying in a hotel. By itself this data doesn’t reveal a lot: do travelers stay longer because they like Airbnb better, or are do they simply use Airbnb when they have to stay longer? Still, either way, assuming more gets done during a five-night stay than a three-night stay, the competitive pricing with more options does seem to play a part in travelers’ preferences.

We’ve shared before that younger business travelers like to include some amount of leisure with their business travel, perhaps burning a few vacation days in conjunction with a company trip, or simply taking advantage of their ability to do their jobs while away from the office. “Bleisure travel” is an aesthetically repugnant phrase that seems to be catching on as travelers take their offices on the road to other cities, and not just to the cafe downstairs from their apartments. It’s sort of the conceptual opposite of a staycation. Rather than staying in town to have a vacation, many are leaving town to keep doing their jobs. “Once set loose from the office, they don't want to just see the inside of a Sheraton conference room,” says an article in The Street. “They'd like to see the sights and increasingly take advantage of gaps between meetings or even tack on a few vacation days to do so.”

Most experienced business travelers have mastered the baggage game, and part of that mastery is often not to check bags at all. Airlines are aware of the negative stigma attached to checked baggage, according to Corporate Travel, who predicted a year ago that there would be improvements in this area. The website points out that Delta (as one example) has invested heavily in RFID (radio frequency identification) with a resulting 99.9% accuracy rate in tracking individual pieces of luggage. The major investment of money in technology for something that’s long been a complaint and far-reaching problem for travelers is impressive, especially in this past year of high-profile customer service problems on airplanes. Is this baggage-tracking trend the beginning of a lower-stress experience for fliers, and will business travelers take advantage by checking the occasional bag?

As with all of these predicted trends, it’s too early to tell, but what encouraging developments they seem to be for the road warriors in our companies.

References Links:
Corporate Travel: http://www.corporatetraveller.ca/expert-insights/insights/travel-trends-2017
The Street: https://www.thestreet.com/slideshow/14169020/11/10-new-trends-in-business-travel.html
Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/douggollan/2016/07/30/hot-trends-in-business-travel-from-airbnb-to-private-jets


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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Trends In Business Travel - Executive Leadership Articles

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