January 24, 2024

2024 Business Travel Trends Unveiled by Globetrender and Cytric Easy by Amadeus

Extracting maximum value from each trip vital as market continues to grow

A full recovery in business travel spend is anticipated this year, with the market returning to levels last seen in 2019. Much has changed over the past five years: business travelers today are increasingly discerning when they travel, as they seek to derive the maximum value from each trip. New technologies, such as Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), can deliver an enhanced experience for those choosing to embark on a trip.

These changes and more are explored in the new Business Travel Trends 2024 report, produced by Globetrender and Cytric Easy by Amadeus. From Objective Stacking, to Executive Field Trips and AI Personal Assistants (AI PAs), here are the seven trends set to elevate business travel in 2024.

  1. ‘AI PAs’ to revolutionize self-booked trips
    For corporate travelers, the emergence of Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen-AI) has catalyzed the arrival of ‘AI PAs.’ These intelligent, 24/7, solutions can patiently help with everything from advising on itinerary options, to using natural language that guides the traveler on their company’s travel policy. They can respond to a detailed trip brief: after inputting an initial prompt, the output generated is friendly and helpful in tone, and it is easy to continue the dialogue with follow-up questions.

  2. Executive Field Trips come into focus
    Strategic getaways are set to soar in 2024. Scheduling team building days has often been used to bring people together, but a shift towards longer trips away, often in nature, is giving rise to the burgeoning trend. These corporate off-sites are being taken to the next level with an ever-greater array of immersive, surprising, and sometimes even extreme experiences, in domestic locations as well as abroad.

    Forging camaraderie is seen as essential to cementing positive relationships between employees, boosting company loyalty and motivating people to work towards a common goal. To facilitate this objective, people need to be taken out of their comfort zone and forced to leave their ego at the door, with everything from white water rafting to tropical bushcraft being added to the agenda on these enhanced trips.

  3. “Objective Stacking” to multiply value of business travel for the corporation and employee
    As pressure grows to adhere to company sustainability mandates and manage outgoings in the face of soaring prices, there will be increased demands on employees to justify work trips. In the coming years, “Objective Stacking” – a term coined by Globetrender to describe trips that are planned to fulfill multiple goals – will become the default way of operating to maximize efficiency and value. Instead of flying in and out for one meeting, sales pitch or event, business travelers will be required to build in time to meet clients, conduct reconnaissance, forge deals, investigate expansion opportunities, conduct competitor analysis or they might even want to tag on a vacation.

  4. Blended Itineraries takes center stage as rigid travel policies bow out
    A new corporate mindset and automated systems are enabling Blended Itineraries for business travelers, which go beyond simple ‘bleisure’ trips that see a weekend tagged on to a few days of meetings. Central to what is taking off in 2024, though, is the relaxation and personalization of these once rigid corporate travel policies that now place employee experience at the heart.

  5. Net Zero Heroes: Corporates get smarter to hit 2050 carbon reduction targets
    In December 2023, the COP28 global climate summit concluded with an agreement to “transition away” from fossil fuel consumption and ramp up clean energy production, with the goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Sustainability ambitions are being taken seriously by the corporate travel world, with a survey of 896 senior decision-makers commissioned by Amadeus revealing that 90 percent of travel companies had a strategy in place to reach environmental sustainability objectives or are planning to implement one in 2024.

    As pressure grows to justify the environmental impact of business travel, companies will increasingly embrace Objective Stacking as a way of ensuring employees maximize the value of trips, as well as Blended Itineraries, which will facilitate this thanks to more flexible travel policies.

  6. Digitized Expenses: Automatic reconciliation moves a step closer
    The world of corporate finance is leveling up, propelled by the transition to digital expensing and virtual cards for on-the-go expenses. The shift marks the end of an era dominated by cumbersome manual management of expense forms and the constant juggle of paper receipts. For many companies this change signifies not just a procedural update, but a fundamental overhaul of how business transactions are recorded, processed, and analyzed. Digitized Expenses will boost personalization and enhance the user experience, while ensuring data security and travel policy compliance.

  7. Power Networking: Global events industry takes off as desire for connection surges
    Finally, Power Networking will emerge as a new hyper-focused approach to acquiring and building new connections. Gone will be the days when delegates sneak off early from conferences or hide in their hotel room to avoid making small talk – in 2024 and beyond, every opportunity will need to be maximized. After all, if employees are taking time away from their desks and families then they will need to ensure it is worthwhile. This means crafting richer itineraries with multiple meetings outside of the core agenda.

Copyright 2024 Amadeus IT Group SA. All rights reserved. From https://www.amadeus.com.

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