The industry is expected to reach US$1.7 trillion by 2022, an uptick that's powered by the improved state of global trade, a better financial status of emerging markets, and shifting exchange rates.
But like many aspects of the business world, managing corporate travel is changing. New technology, environmental changes and other factors all influence the way we think about being abroad on the boss's dime.
That's why we've done the research. This is how you can expect business travel to change this year.
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An increasingly personalized business travel experience
Step by step, we're moving closer to the concept of an all-knowing travel assistant. All signs point to a future in which our business trips are supported by a AI that automatically pulls up contextual information (like your reservation number) right when you need it and performs actions (like ordering an Uber) before you even thought about them.
Higher accommodation prices for business travel
Some of the free amenities that you've come to expect in mid- to high-range hotels might be free today, but could be part of an optional package soon. It's already common to pay for services like Wi-Fi, dry cleaning or a late checkout.
These will often be covered by expense policies, but it’s a smart way for hotels to quietly increase their prices, and for employers to have to shoulder the burden.
But there is one factor that might soon force prices down...
The impact of the sharing economy on business travel
So far, businesses have been content to book directly with hotels. Despite the higher rates, companies prefer the predictability (and likely the rewards) that come with this option.
But as AirBnb, Booking.com, and other modern sites build on their corporate offerings, this is bound to change.
The Uber effect
One trend that companies have been keen to jump on, however, is ride-sharing. Uber is already more popular among European businesses than all taxi companies combined.
And while Lyft doesn't yet have a presence on the continent, there are other local options like Kapten, Taxify, and Heetch which are soaking up market share.
Increased digital security in business travel
That's why the travel industry is working hard to implement better technology that protects their interests. According to research conducted by SITA, one of the largest travel IT companies in the world, 91 percent of airlines are making advanced preparations to manage the increasing risks of total digital connectivity — a number that’s sure to increase over the coming years.
A modern tool to support your business travel
Yes, the future is looking bright, and more changes are just around the corner. So why not be ahead of the curve?
Spendesk is the full-service expense and travel management platform that's powered by technology so good, that some people think it's from the future.
Trust us — you'll love it.