With 95 per cent of FCM Travel Solutions clients believing their travel spend will be the same or increase over the next year, and the company experiencing more than 10 per cent growth in travel bookings in 2017, all indications suggest business travel shows no sign of slowing.
So what’s in store for 2018 and beyond, and what new trends are you likely to hear around the office as you go about booking your next business trip.
New Zealand’s largest travel management company, FCM Travel Solutions, has released its list of future trends in business travel.
As part of the Spotlight on Business Travel Trends 2017 report, FCM Travel Solutions has looked across the business travel category and notes key trends that will impact on business travel.
Andy Jack, general manager FCM Travel Solutions New Zealand, says smart technology will play a huge part in business travel, which is no surprise, however he urges businesses to look at what sits behind these new technologies.
“Soon booking business travel via an app will become the norm. Whilst this is very familiar in the leisure travel space, business travel itineraries can be more complicated and moving to an online environment will be more prevalent.
It’s imperative with these instant options that businesses understand what, and more importantly, who sits behind these technologies.”
Travel can be complicated and the Health and Safety Reform Bill 2016 means businesses are now legally obligated to ensure traveller safety is paramount.
“Businesses need to know if there are complicated changes, or if a crisis occurs, that there are dedicated experts working on their behalf behind the technology,” Mr Jack says.
Mr Jack went on to say that reporting will continue to remain critical and analytical tools have evolved considerably and can lead to cost savings in business travel.
“Travel is often a great barometer and is usually one of the first categories to be targeted when reviewing saving opportunities. Having the right analytic tools at your disposal is far better than a knee-jerk reaction travel ban, which can often cause significant disruptions to the business.
Third-party sources are imperative to running cross-platform analytics on travel,” Mr Jack said.
Technology is key for the future of travel, and the latest innovations can make business travel smarter also.
Mr Jack says new smart luggage will dominate the conveyer belts soon. These bags are technology enabled with GPS global tracking, internal chargers for phones, laptops and other devices, digital remote locking and in-built weight sensor systems that sync with each airline.
He also notes the demise of paper for travel will continue, with Australia removing the need for an outgoing passenger card.
“As more travel documentation goes online and less paper is required for travel, removing outgoing passenger cards is the logical next step. Not only do they take up time (including the eternal hunt for a pen while in queue), they seem quite antiquated in 2017,” Mr Jack says.
A full copy of the Spotlight on Business Travel Trends 2017: Business Travel Trends can be found here.