Tuesday, March 21, 2023

10 Trends That Will Shape Business Travel and Spend Management

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The business travel and spend management industries are changing. The increased focus on business growth, employee well-being, and technology has caused a shift in priorities for businesses and travelers alike. These changes are shaping the industry and creating new opportunities for growth. Travel managers need to keep up with these trends if they want their company’s travel budgets to stay under control while expanding their reach into new markets.  

Business travel and spending management are undergoing major changes due to the need for stringent checks and balances on spending. Companies need to be able to track how their employees are spending their funds while traveling in order to stay up-to-date with current trends and regulations. To do this, a need for a paystub is becoming essential, allowing companies an enhanced view of when, where, and how much money was spent by which employees.

Businesses will need to particularly keep a close eye on these trends in order to stay legally compliant while ensuring that they are providing their staff with sufficient funds as they travel across the globe. Here are some prominent trends as follows:  

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1. Business is particularly mixed with pleasure 

Whether you’re particularly traveling for business or pleasure, it’s important to make sure that the trip is enjoyable. Your travel experience should be seamless and stress-free to ensure you particularly get the most out of your time away from home.

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This means that if you’re traveling on business, your company should provide a variety of options for how they want their employees to get around while they’re away from home.

It’s not enough anymore just to fly them into town by plane or drive them in by car; there are so many other ways now (like train rides) where companies can offer their staff more than just one option when it comes up during planning stages for anyone attending a conference or event overseas.

2. The rise of on-demand models.

In the past, you had to rent a car or reserve your hotel room weeks in advance to get the best price. This year, however, you can use a service like Uber or Airbnb to book transportation and accommodation as late as the morning of your trip. Online travel agencies like Expedia also have their own versions of these services, allowing users to book accommodations without entering extensive details about their travel plans.

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This trend will impact business travelers because it makes it easier for companies to buy last-minute services and hold those costs down by offering flexibility in scheduling travel arrangements during periods when they know they’ll need them the most (e.g., during busy sales seasons).

3. Self-booking is becoming the norm 

Self-booking services allow users to do everything from booking flights and hotels to finding things to do in their destination. As self-booking continues to gain traction, it’s important to remember that it’s not just about saving money.

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The benefits of self-booking include greater efficiency and convenience for travelers, which can also translate into significant savings for companies.

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4. Emphasis on travel program innovation.

Companies are increasingly looking to find new ways to approach travel spend Management. The era of traditional corporate travel programs is coming to an end, as employees are seeking more flexibility in how they get from A to B (e.g., by car-sharing or ride-sharing). This means that companies need to rethink their approach when it comes to planning trips for employees. They may also employ more sophisticated tools that accurately predict where staff members will be at any given time so they can use innovative transportation options like Uber rather than taxis or limos.

5. A desire for unique and personal experiences.

Business travelers want to be entertained, and they want to be treated like VIPs. They don’t just want a hotel room and a meal; if you want your employees to stay on-site, you need to give them something that makes their trip worthwhile. One way of providing this is through personalized experiences where business travelers can participate in local activities with other travelers or locals. This type of experience is becoming increasingly popular as people are looking for unique and personal ways to connect with others during their travels.

6. Technology continues to revolutionize corporate travel. 

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The rise of technology has caused a digital revolution in the travel and hospitality sector. In the past decade, we have seen hotels investing millions of dollars in updating the customer experience to make it more seamless and customized, with apps, touchscreens, and kiosks leading the way. Technology continues to revolutionize corporate travel as well, providing tools that empower businesses with higher-order strategies when making arrangements for off-site events or trips. With the rise of the internet, companies now have access to more resources and information than ever before. In addition, technology has made it easier for employees to book their own travel without relying on a human booking agent. This means that more people are booking their own flights, hotels, and rental cars, and this trend will only continue as companies adopt more apps for employees’ use.

7. The rise of AI, virtual reality, and intelligent assistants

Intelligent assistants, virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) are becoming more popular. These technologies can help with travel booking, planning, and other tasks typically handled by human agents. Intelligent assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon Echo can help you plan your trip by providing information about the weather and local customs. They’ll also book flights or hotels on your behalf once they have all the relevant information. You can even ask them to pick up your rental car when you arrive at the airport so that it’s ready when you land!

8. The need to balance travel risk with the benefits of a strong travel policy.

Travel risk management is essential to any business that relies on travel. But it’s also important for organizations that don’t have a travel policy in place and don’t want the headaches of policing their employees’ activities. If you’re looking for a way to protect your company from legal, financial, and reputational risks associated with employee behavior or business trips, let us help you find the particular solution for your needs.

9. Collaboration between corporate travel and procurement departments.

Collaboration between corporate travel and procurement departments is becoming increasingly important. Travel managers realize that they can directly impact savings, and procurement managers are becoming more aware of the costs associated with business travel. These two functions particularly need to work together to continue driving down spending by negotiating contracts, developing policies, and ensuring everyone understand how each department contributes to overall cost savings. The future of collaboration between travel and procurement looks bright. There is little doubt that these departments will continue working together as they search for new ways to save their companies money while improving employee satisfaction at the same time.  

10. A focus on employee well-being as an essential component of business growth.

It’s easy to assume that employees are happy when they’re being productive. But even the most driven and ambitious employees will struggle if they don’t feel valued by their company or if they’re not getting enough rest. In fact, companies with a focus on employee well-being as an essential component of business growth have found that happy workers are particularly more productive and that happier employees are also more likely to stay with the companies that take care of them. If you want your team members to bring their best ideas forward, it makes sense to make sure they’re getting all the tools and support they need, and one way to do that is by offering travel benefits tailored around them.

Final Thoughts

While macroeconomic factors still play a role in how travel is managed at the corporate level, many trends will shape how business travel evolves over the next decade. Travel managers must be aware of these changes to adapt their programs accordingly.

For example, companies are increasingly moving towards self-booking methods because it results in greater efficiency and lower travel costs. The ability to customize experiences will also become more important as employees seek out unique and personalized trips that meet their needs rather than generic experiences provided by traditional vendors. 

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