• August 15, 2023

Business travel is back, but purpose is key finds Accor report

Business travel is back, but purpose is key finds Accor report

Business travel is back, but purpose is key finds Accor report 900 600 micebook.

A robust return to in-person corporate and industry events is driving increased demand for business travel, but business needs must now be balanced with social and environmental pressures, according to Accor’s new Business of Travel report.

Purposeful travel was the key takeaway identified at Accor’s Masters of Travel 2023, which brought together industry leaders from technology, law, energy, engineering, and pharmaceuticals with senior Accor executives to discuss the state of business travel and events. The Business of Travel report shares these findings along with new European and global data on business travel. Here are some of the key takeaways…

Business travel spend is on the up

Accor research found that business travel spending is down just 24% from 2019 and is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024 (Deloitte). Accor’s recent global business travel survey aligns with this return to pre-pandemic spend, as 57% of respondents expect an increase on travel budget in 2024 vs 2023 spend.

Saskia Gentil, SVP Sales, Europe & North Africa at Accor, commented: “Masters of Travel gives us an in-depth look at the state of play for business travel today. With businesses trying to strike a balance between productivity and purpose, it’s a time of great change and revaluation for the industry. What’s clear is that after a period of inactivity, delegates are eager to get on the road again. Being mindful of value, sustainability and striking a balance of work and leisure that ensures the wellbeing of employees, businesses can uplift revenue and reinvigorate the art of face-to-face.

Virtual meetings are an accepted part of the working landscape in ways that weren’t commonplace pre-Covid, but the value of face-to-face is undeniable, with professionals estimating 25% more revenue when meeting in person. And the bottom line isn’t the only equation when workers need interaction with colleagues and associates for their mental health and job satisfaction. Every trip is carefully evaluated in terms of ROI and ROE – return on investment, and, increasingly, return on expectation.

Carbon emissions remain key challenge for corporates

Environmental concerns were front of mind for many. An Accor survey of corporate clients revealed that 54% put carbon emissions as their number one CSR priority, and “supplier sustainability performance for 2024 hotel sourcing and selection” was ranked as highly important in their booking decisions. The onus lies both on travellers and hosts, with both parties having to work together for more sustainable travel.

Combining meetings with purposeful leisure time means travellers are staying longer, doing more, and going down a gear to make the most of their carbon output. While still in its infancy, delegates clearly value ‘bleisure’, as do their employees.

Younger employees are more likely to combine business with pleasure via blended ‘bleisure’ trips, but the trend is increasingly prevalent across demographics. 67% of clients surveyed in an Accor poll extended their business trips in 2022. grey areas exist when it comes to splitting invoices, dividing loyalty points and benefits.

While tech is key to bookings across the board, technology must be people-centric, designed to improve the process and the human touch shouldn’t be far away.

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