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Smudge between the business and leisure travels

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.

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LexisNexis risk solutions study reveals sharp rise of financial crime compliance costs

Decision makers inside banks, investment firms, asset managers and insurance firms identify the drivers impacting financial crime compliance. LexisNexis® Risk Solutions revealed that the results of its annual True Cost of Financial Crime Compliance Study for the U.S. and Canada. The total projected cost of financial crime compliance for the region is approximately $49.9 billion. The survey illustrates the sharp increase in financial crime compliance costs.

The study projects the average annual cost of financial crime compliance for U.S. financial institutions with $10 billion. Pandemic Continues to Spur Growth. The pandemic continues to negatively impact compliance operations. Sixty eight percent of U.S. respondents report longer times required to complete due diligence. Fifty five percent of U.S. respondents report reduced productivity compared.

More U.S. financial institutions now rank real estate and hospitality as top money laundering risk segments. Crime involving digital payments, trade-based money laundering and money mule schemes are on the rise. Digital currency is a growing problem for Canadian firms. Crimes involving digital payments have the greatest impact on compliance costs. Cryptocurrency crimes have the greatest impact on compliance costs for Canadian firms. The survey results demonstrate that financial institutions are battling a broader set of issues.

Survey respondents indicate that a lack of current and extensive data tops the list of Know Your Customer (KYC). Leslie Bailey, vice president of financial crime compliance strategy for LexisNexis Risk Solutions stated that the study shows clear linkages between the pandemic, digital crime and increasing regulations. Hence, financial institutions need to prepare for expanded compliance obligations and risks from emerging financial crime. Bailey added that digital transformation is a game-changer for financial crime compliance operations.

This will require a sophisticated approach that incorporates insight into digital behaviors. This study surveyed 145 decision-makers in the U.S. and Canada. Responses were collected in June 2019, August 2020 and June 2021. Organizations such as banks, investment firms, asset management firms and insurance firms. The total annual cost of compliance across firms was calculated using survey data. The spend amount was generated by multiplying the average percent allocated to financial crime costs.

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COP26 delegates agree on need to deliver on $100 BLN climate finance pledge

Delegates heading to the COP26 U.N. climate summit in Glasgow. These delegates agreed that they must deliver on the $100 billion per year pledge. COP26 president Alok Sharma said that, it is to help most vulnerable nations for tackling the climate change.

After many days of meetings at the pre-COP26 climate event, which happened in Italy, Sharma said that there was a consensus to do more. Which is to keep the 1.5 degrees Celsius target within reach, adding more needed to be done collectively in terms of national climate plans.

The COP26 conference in Glasgow aims to secure more ambitious climate action. This is from nearly 200 countries, those all that have signed the 2015 Paris Agreement for limiting the global warming, well below 2.0 degrees Celsius. And to 1.5 degrees, above pre-industrial levels.

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City’s exposure to Evergrande is very minimal-Hong Kong finance Chief

Hong Kong’s exposure to debt-laden developer China Evergrande Group is very minimal at 0.05%. This is of banking assets, South China Morning Post reported, citing the city’s finance minister. Financial Secretary Paul Chan told the newspaper that it is very minimal and won’t cause them any systemic risks. He added that he had arrived at the conclusion after a recent audit of the local banking sector’s exposure to the company.

Chan also said that the Hong Kong’s stock market was inevitably subject to some volatility. This is amidst a recent mainland crackdown on some industries. But still he believed any setback would be temporary. With liabilities of $305 billion, Evergrande has sparked concerns its cash crunch could spread through China’s financial system. This may reverberate globally and that is a worry that has eased with the Chinese central bank’s vow, to protect homebuyers’ interests. Evergrande has missed two bond interest payments. Bondholders have said this and its offshore debt, amounting to about $20 billion, trades at distressed levels.

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