The Future of the Corporate Travel Industry

The beginning of this decade saw corporate overseas travel take a nosedive. Numbers visiting offices to conduct meetings fell lower than had been seen for years, and for many, it felt like this could be the new normal. Technology had improved so much in recent years that it became much easier to work remotely with colleagues from other countries. There were plenty of limiting factors to this approach, but it seemed like the age of corporate travel was coming to an end. However, as we approach a new year, what’s the outlook for the future? Is corporate travel a dying industry, or has it made a resurgence?

Caught in the Middle

The corporate travel industry is no doubt undergoing a resurgence, but it is a slow one. It means that corporate travel companies can breathe easier, while corporate contracts remain increasingly important, like those held by Click Travel with Buzz Bingo. The casino, which offers services like online casino slots, traditional table games as well as in-person bingo clubs up and down the country, relies on corporate travel for their personnel to visit venues nationwide. The company mixes online and in-person products, so it makes sense that they maintain a corporate travel agreement like this. This agreement allows them to take advantage of favourable hotel and train prices.

A Slow Trend Upwards

Many companies around the world have ditched the remote working policies they employed for the first couple of years of the 2020s. Hybrid working has become more popular, but full-scale return-to-office mandates have been issued by many companies. This has meant many policies have returned to the old normal, including overseas travel.

According to a study carried out by consultancy company Deloitte, the corporate travel industry is trending upwards both on this side of the Atlantic and in the US. Although companies seem to consider a wider range of factors when deciding on overseas travel, such as health, convenience, need, and the benefit of virtual events, corporate travel spend levels are increasing. Although this is happening slowly, they will likely exceed 2019 levels by the end of 2024.

Influence of Technology

As with every industry, the impact of technology cannot be discounted. From the perspective of travel companies, technology is becoming both a help and a hindrance. Artificial intelligence and more integrated booking systems allow companies to keep updated on price changes as well as benefit from personalised discounts. However, on the other hand, telecommunications is improving, as is the internet infrastructure in developing countries. It means that for companies that employ workers in lower-cost locations, they can easily replicate the in-person experience online.

While at one stage in the past few years, it felt like corporate travel was a dying industry, this is most definitely not the case. It has undergone a resurgence based on several factors, and while travel prices have increased in the last 18 months, the industry continues to grow. Whether it reaches pre-2019 levels as quickly as Deloitte predicts remains to be seen, but for the moment, at least it remains on course to.

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