There’s never a better time to review your forecasts and trends than the start of the year. The last few years have been challenging for the world of business travel and this year we’ve started to see some real recovery. But as we look back to those early predictions, do they still resonate in 2023?
This time last year, we were;
- cheerful because travel was becoming simpler (1)
- telling buyers to freshen up their travel policies (2)
- predicting key travel trends would include Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, traveller empowerment & engagement, and sustainability
Are these still things we should be looking at for the year ahead? Absolutely, and here’s why.
Simpler travel is here to stay
We’re pleased to confirm that travel has continued to become more simplified. Last year saw a mass return to corporate travel with all suppliers and bodies working together to get businesses moving again. As part of that, we welcomed innovation in technology (such as biometric gates and e-tickets), the easing of border controls and of course, a minimal requirement for COVID-19 testing.
Now enjoying the financial and societal benefits of this return to travel, countries and governments are keen not to bring back unnecessary restrictions that could impede this recovery. Good news for those looking to up their travel in 2023!
Review your travel policy, but keep it flexible
This year, we’re reinforcing our message to freshen up travel policies. We’re here to work with you on managing the cost of travel, negotiating the best rates and fares, and keeping your travellers safe.
We do, however, recommend maintaining a level of flexibility within your policies as corporate travel continues to ‘normalise’. There are still adjustments to services, disruptions and changing requirements that will affect day to day travel. That said, now is a good time to review your hotel programme and travel policy.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is the future
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion continue to gather pace across the industry. Just this week we saw British Airways update their uniform for the first time in nearly 20 years (3), providing more flexibility and a move away from traditional gender stereotypes. This follows the news from Virgin Atlantic, that they now allow their staff to choose their uniform based on their gender identity (4).
Although progress in this area will be a long journey, buyers and suppliers are taking meaningful steps toward a diverse and equitable future.
Traveller’s continue to demand more
Travellers are even more aware of the impact of corporate travel on their personal life and so it remains a very personal experience. Policies that are flexible and support wellbeing, inclusivity and comfort will go a long way to building a happy, travelling workforce. Adding extras such as ‘meet and greet’ services or airport lounges show your team you care about their safety and that they are valued.
Sustainability will dominate the headlines
Less of a trend, and more of a here to stay, sustainability will be a key focus for businesses across the board this year. With private companies and governments pledging commitments towards nearing targets, we can expect more innovation, regulation and education around this topic.
Travellers will be affected as they make choices from which type of plane to fly on, to what amenities to use/re-use. And businesses will need to build up their own knowledge to educate their team, calculate & track their impact on the environment, and start to look at ways to travel more sustainably.
At MIDAS Travel, our ESG team is working with clients to create more sustainable travel programmes.
Looking to 2023
Overall, our 2022 predictions had a significant impact on travel programmes throughout the year, and they continue to do so today. As business travel goes from strength to strength, we embrace the opportunity for continuous learning and improvement. Here’s to 2023!
- Sustainable Business Travel – MIDAS Travel
- Government Website – UK economy to meet our net zero target by 2050
- Consultancy Services – MIDAS Travel
Should MIDAS Travel clients wish to find out more, please contact your travel team. For any other enquiries, please get in touch.