Business Travel Trends Coming Your Way in 2019
What is ahead of us in 2019? The Travel Counsellor Business Travel team gets out our crystal ball to bring you our 2019 travel predictions.
Europe’s airlines will need to up their game.
Given the continued dominance of Middle Eastern and Far Eastern airline operators – only one European airline made Skytrax’s top ten in 2018 – Europe’s airlines will need to up their game if they are going to be recognised in 2019.
Attracting millennial talent will drive more flexible policies around bleisure
As millennials are more represented in the workforce, the dynamics are changing. Surveys continue to show that the lines between work and home life continue to blur. Flexible working practices are increasingly in demand.
For the travel manager, this means offering flexibility to extend business trips to allow for leisure and downtime – the so called “bleisure trend”. Companies that develop policies around bleisure and other flexible working practices will have a competitive advantage in the recruitment marketplace.
Increased commercial focus on environmental issues will impact travel policies
Another area in which Millennials and Gen Z are impacting policy is in environmental concerns. With controversy over the Paris Climate Agreement raging, the UN highlighting a failure to act swiftly enough, and news from NASA about the melting of Antarctic glaciers formerly thought to be safe, it is little wonder environmental concerns are rising to the top of the agenda.
A recent survey found that millennials and Gen Z travellers want sustainable travel experiences and 86 percent of them would be willing to spend some time on activities that offset the environmental impact of their stay.
As a result, choosing travel and hotel partners that are committed to more sustainable operations will be an increasingly important consideration for travel buyers.
We should know what impact Brexit will have on travel
While the politics of Brexit still seem to remain in deadlock in the UK, we’re pleased to see that individual countries are working with the government to mitigate the effects of a “no deal” Brexit. In November, the UK and US agreed a new post-Brexit open skies arrangement that guarantees the continuation of the vital transatlantic routes.
These routes are used by millions of passengers each year, and the new agreement will ensure people can continue to travel easily between the UK and US. This is one of ten arrangements agreed with countries around the world, guaranteeing the continuation of vital routes following Brexit.
In December, the European Commission published a ‘no-deal’ contingency action plan which was welcomed by the UK Government. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “We need to study the detail, but any steps to ensure UK hauliers can continue carrying goods into the EU in the event of a no deal is good news, as is ensuring flights are maintained between the UK and EU immediately after Brexit. Whether for business or leisure, travellers can continue to book with confidence.”
Private jet travel looks set to increase
With rising oil prices, the economics of private jet travel are becoming more convincing. When paired with the advantages of convenience, comfort and efficiency that private flights offer, we are seeing an increase in enquiries for private flights.
In particular, the speed and ease with which travellers can pass through the terminal and reduce overall travel time offers significant advantages and plays a big role in reducing stress.
Travel Counsellors works with Air Partner to provide charter services for every kind of individual and business – from private jet flights to meetings and conferences for a small group of senior executives, to large groups on company incentive trips and product launches for over 200 people.
Investment in travel technology will continue to rise
While investment in travel technology solutions continues to rise exponentially, we think there is likely to be a consumer backlash against those firms that are pursuing technology investments to simply drive down their costs and add little value.
Travel Counsellors isn’t immune from investment in technology – we’ve recently invested £6m into ensuring our reservations systems remain at the cutting edge.
What’s different at Travel Counsellors is that we don’t see this as a replacement for our personal touch. Rather, technology is a support tool; an augmentation of our human capabilities.
Travel is a very personal purchase and amidst all this drive towards high-tech assistants and chat-bots, there remains a strong customer desire for personal advice and support – putting our personal approach firmly in favour.
However, regardless of what happens this year, you can be sure that your Travel Counsellor will be on hand to make your business travel easier. Don't yet have a Travel Counsellor? Please get in touch via the form below.
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