What Are The Top Business Travel Trends to Watch in 2017?

In today’s global marketplace, travel has become necessary to organize even the most remote of operations. Conferences, seminars, employee trainings, and teambuilding workshops are but a few of the reasons that business professionals travel together. In fact, the travel industry itself has grown so large that the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has projected a 5.8% increase in the already trillion-dollar industry by 2019. And, since the GBTA began tracking business travel in 2014, it has become clear that group business travel far exceeds individual travel.

So what does that mean?

Put simply, the travel industry is booming and business travelers are paying the ultimate price. As the rates for airfare, car rentals, and other accommodations continue to climb, travelers are constantly on the lookout for less expensive and more comfortable alternatives. It is imperative now, more than ever, that business professionals stay up to date on travel trends, and that’s why we’ve identified the latest trends in the industry:

1) Remote First Business

In a recent study conducted by UpWork, 1 in 3 Americans work as freelancers. As the trend toward remote work and remote-first companies emerges as the global norm, it sounds logical that travel would decrease, however this just isn’t the case. As more companies shift toward a remote-first position, brick-and-mortar locations are taken out of the equation and team members need to arrange frequent physical meetings on middle ground.

Although telecommuting has obvious benefits, it’s not a feasible method of fulfilling all company requirements. Employees that once walked down the hallway to meet in the office conference room are now flying in from around the world to meet in cafes, hotel conference rooms, and other meeting halls. To minimize time spent away from family and the home office, corporate leaders often arrange less frequent, extended stays at choice locations.

2) The Bizcation Getaway

There is no question that business trips are an inconvenience for many, especially those with families and other hometown commitments. As the saying goes, “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade”, and many business travelers have found that making the best of a business trip is not only a way to have a more pleasant experience, but it’s also more cost effective.

Group rates at stiff hotels with limited accommodations are marginally discounted when compared to individual rates. Meanwhile, the Airbnb movement has taken the lodging industry by storm, offering all-inclusive vacation getaway locations with luxury accommodations for a fraction of the price. Not only is Airbnb a more affordable option, but research supports that vacation time leads to more productive and happy employees.

3) Travel Insurance

Nobody wants to think about terrorism, especially during travel time. But, the reality is that terrorism has affected the way people approach travel to some of the most popular European destinations. In June of 2016, Squaremouth reported that the number of people buying travel insurance increased by a whopping 57% to those traveling to the UK, 47% to Italy, 26% to Spain, 22% to Germany, and 17% to France.

Immediately after the Paris and Brussels terrorist attacks, people were scrambling to find travel insurance. Terrorism is no laughing matter and neither is your safety or security. That’s why business professionals are realizing now, more than ever, that travel insurance is a necessary coverage; something people often never thought twice about. But, as business practices change, so too do travel planning practices.

Seeking out new business opportunities, increasing productivity, and adding to the bottom-line are inevitably on the mind of every corporate leader. As the calendar makes another round, so too do our business ventures and initiatives, all heavily reliant on one common factor - travel. As travel trends change, it’s important to stay up-to-date on these changes to understand how to effectively navigate a vast marketplace.

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