French hospitality giant Accor says demand for business travel is back but the segment must be redefined to include a social and environmental focus.
In this direction, Accor brought together industry leaders to create a vision for business travel and corporate meetings post-Covid. The result was dubbed “purposeful travel”.
According to Accor’s “Business of Travel” report, business travel spending is down just 24 percent from 2019 and is expected to return to pre-Covid levels by 2024.
Meanwhile according to an Accor survey, 57 percent of those polled said they expect an increase in travel budget in 2024 versus 2023 spend.
A top consideration in 2024 for respondents was traveler experience and cost-savings while 46 percent said they were not likely to limit business travel for the rest of the year. At the same time, poll participants said they were expecting 25 percent more revenue for in-person events.
-54 percent of corporate clients said they had placed carbon emissions as their top CSR priority
-supplier sustainability performance for 2024 hotel sourcing and selection ranked as highly important in their booking decisions
-focus should be placed on combining meetings with purposeful leisure time
-younger employees are more likely to combine business with pleasure, but the trend is increasingly prevalent across demographics
-67 percent of those surveyed said they extended their business trips in 2022
– loyalty programs play a role in enticing employees to travel for business, with younger travelers seeking experiential rewards like concerts, drinks and even bicycle hire
–technology must be people-centric, designed to improve the process.
“With businesses trying to strike a balance between productivity and purpose, it’s a time of great change and revaluation for the industry,” said Saskia Gentil, SVP Sales, Europe & North Africa at Accor.
“After a period of inactivity, delegates are eager to get on the road again. Being mindful of value, sustainability and striking a balance of work and leisure that ensures the wellbeing of employees, businesses can uplift revenue and reinvigorate the art of face-to-face,” said Gentil.