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Changing Landscape of Corporate Travel - Part 1

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

Europe Leading the Way

In the first in this series, we explore a few of the evolving trends in travel management, focusing on sustainability, hybrid working, blended business travel options, and multi-modal forms of transport.

As we progress through the series we will delve deeper into each topic so that companies can gain insight into how to stay competitive and embrace the evolving needs of their employees, as it relates to the overall corporate travel management programme.

Sustainable Travel Takes Centre Stage

Creating a more sustainable travel programme is increasingly important to businesses - pressured by government, regulators, competitors, investors and employees. Cutting carbon emissions for many, means targeting business travel as part of a wider mitigation strategy.

Greener travel is often synonymous with more cost-effective business travel. More eco-friendly practices will reduce a company's carbon footprint, as well as investing in carbon offset programmes to compensate for any travel-related emissions.

Sustainable travel options continue to be a key driver and multi-modal trips now account for almost a third of recent business trips. As a region, Europe is leading the way in offering alternative, more sustainable solutions.

GBTA 15 November 2023

Multi-Modal Travel - Gen Z Leading the Way

One way sustainable travel has become integrated into travel programmes is through multi-modal business trips, which incorporate various modes of transportation. This includes using public transportation at the business destination, such as rail, subways, or alternatively cycling, e-scooters and walking.

Gen Z are setting new trends in business travel as they are more likely to use active travel options – walking, cycling or a scooter – for a business trip compared to around one in seven older employees. As many as one in three Gen Z employees – compared to one in four people from older generations – are also more likely to use multi-modal travel for a business trip abroad and only to use a car for those parts that aren’t possible by train, bus or another shared mode.

Business Travel News Europe 18 October 2023

Blend - The New Trend

The term "blended travel" has a few connotations. It can be a hybrid business model where virtual and face-to-face meetings are blended, to make more creative and effective use of virtual platforms. In this instance more stringent parameters are applied around actual business trips.

The other notion - and a popular choice - is where employees combine business and leisure trips to reduce the number of flights taken.

Our infographic illustrates the various facets of blended travel management and the processes involved to protect the well-being and safety of travellers.

Follow this link to access your own personal copy of the Blended Travel Management Infographic

Hybrid Working Models

Companies are embracing hybrid working models and digital nomad lifestyles, which gives employees the flexibility to choose their work environment, increasing job satisfaction and work-life balance.

This shift impacts corporate travel management in a number of ways, such as policies and approval processes, virtual alternatives and travel risk management.

As employees split their time between working in the office and remotely, the need for frequent in-person meetings and business trips may decrease, with more focus on strategic travel initiatives.

Travel management companies can support clients by helping with more flexible travel policies, budget optimisation, technology integration and eco-friendly travel options.

In conclusion, hybrid working models and the digital nomad lifestyle offer a range of challenges and opportunities for both employees and employers. In Part 2 of our series we will explore what these are and how companies are striving to find the right balance through policies, effective communication and technology.

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