Business travel accommodation is undergoing a lot of changes as the industry moves into a brand new era which is focusing more on the travelers’ safe keeping and wellbeing. With this year of uncertainty and limited movement of people and with the wide adaptation of remote working, and also the perspectives of the things which can make a business trip worthy, are being adapted. While keeping the budget affordable, corporate managers are now considering the leisure time for travelling, as the industry also offers flexible booking policies and broader choices of locations, including beyond traditional commuter cities. And as the world starts to heal and return to normal, the biggest shifts to be seen are these insignificant reduce in the budget spent of these regular customers. There was a time when the biggies had had the unlimited budget for travelling but now we see that it has become similar to that of SMEs. The Global Business Travel Association (January 2021) stated that 90% of travel managers and obtaining professionals said that they think their corporations will spend less on travel in 2021 vs. 2019, with a typical budget decline of 52 per cent.
The methods the companies are adopting now is showing how they view their business travel as and the importance given to it is also changing. At most care and concern is shown towards the health and safety of the employees and the concept is becoming a high priority compared to that the needs of face to face contact.
Travel policies are giving more attention to the trips which are very important for the company and the ones which has the potential returns on its investments and risks. Corporate COVID policies on the hand is showing its duty towards taking care as their top criteria especially the TMCs and corporates, as they are updated with usage of tracking tools and Covid data updates. Employee welfare programs are strictly focusing on the mental and physical well-being with more autonomous approach for the travelers to decide if the travelling is safe for them or not. All these will imply that the corporations should inculcate an increased flexibility in their approaches made to their staff and their work locations to understand that there might be few of them who will be inclined to travel away from home as something a workation, wherein they can take their family with them too.
As we see the future, we the corporate and the leisure sectors getting along and it is very clear that these trends are here to stay. The extended stay sectors like the hotel groups have increased their investment is this type of accommodation with lower operating costs and higher occupancy rates, which means that the sector has already begun its development process. With these trends, there will be more trends we can expect to spike up like Digitization, more companies using this tech to operate the business from booking through to stay and flexibility is sure to become the new normal for the corporate and business travelers give the pervasive uncertainty over the regulations and restrictions. Demographic of the business travelers asks them to step away from the views of being a typical white collar worker and to embrace the fact that a huge demand will be coming from the alternative sources like people working in entertainment department or construction or even medical institutions.
To conclude it is very clear that the accommodation sector has to be very nimble in their approach to welcome this new of business travel and accommodation by putting the needs of the customers above the growth and profit.