5 Key Takeaways From the Business Travel Show 2024

5 min read

Share this article:

Last week the Gett team decamped to London’s Excel Centre for Business Travel Show 2024, where as well as running our own members’ club-inspired booth we attended countless sessions and talked shop with attendees and exhibitors alike. 

Read our key takeaways from the show below – a FOMO-busting guide to innovation and trends across the business travel industry. 

Business travel is booming, service levels need to keep up

Despite the economic downturn, business travel’s post-Covid recovery shows no sign of slowing. The sector is expected to grow by £1.8 trillion by 2027, with one forecaster at BTS predicting a steady increase of in-person meetings over the next year. 

But there’s a caveat: service levels are struggling to keep pace with volume. At a session on future trends, 60% of the polled audience agreed that service levels in 2024 are worse than last year, with only 8% believing they had improved. Tellingly, another panel session was titled: The Lost Art of Customer Service.

Platforms such as Gett – which offers dedicated account management for B2B customers as well as 24/7 support – continue to win support (and customers) as a result. 

Fewer platforms, more productivity

Workers spend 9% of their annual working time toggling between different apps, according to a Harvard Business Review study cited at the show. An eye-opening statistic and one that lays bare the need for consolidation across multiple industries, not least the business travel sector where bookers and passengers are often navigating various, disconnected booking and travel management platforms. 

No wonder, then, that many of the exhibitors at the show were talking up their integration capabilities. Nikunj Agrawal from Zenmer shared that their platform can “integrate with your preferred apps” while Tony Bonnano, CEO of Groundspan, promised synced up data and integration with third-party expense tools. 

At a session on future-proofing, it was revealed that 90% of FTSE companies are operating with Microsoft Teams – presenting an opportunity for businesses that can connect with the platform in order to automate booking processes, alerts and cross-team collaboration. 

The shifting sands of ESG

Business Travel was characterised as an “industry desperate for innovation” by Jack Ramsey, CEO of Tripstax. But when it comes to ESG, there was no shortage of exciting initiatives and developments being talked about at BTS. 

We’ll come to those specific examples shortly, but it’s worth talking about a more general shift that seems to be taking place first. Because, where ESG teams once fixated on internal initiatives and processes, increasingly it seems as if they are taking a more holistic approach: how do we empower our network to make more ESG-conscious decisions? How can we be better at measuring our impact? Where does procurement fit in? 

Helping teams answer these questions are emerging platforms such as Alo Index, which allows bookers to search for hotels by their ESG credentials, and Eco.Mio, a plug-in that aims to nudge users towards more sustainable travel choices. 

It’s time to accommodate neurodivergence

Making travel accommodations for people with physical disabilities is commonplace – though, as argued by a few speakers at BTS, there’s still a way to go – but the sharp rise in adults being diagnosed as neurodivergent (a term widely used to describe people with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and specific learning disorders (SLD) speaks to the next frontier for business travel accessibility and inclusion.

So, how best to accommodate the estimated 15% of the population that are neurodivergent and assuage any ‘traveller anxiety’ faced by those with related disorders? Helen Moon from EventWell shared some helpful advice at Tuesday’s Let’s make business travel truly accessible session:

“Managers need to make sure passengers feel safe and supported no matter where they are travelling. And they need to ask the magic question: “Do you feel safe, comfortable and well to make this trip?”

And what about AI?

Look at that: we almost made it through an entire article about innovation and trends without mentioning AI… Yes, the topic continues to dominate the discourse and, no doubt, it’s going to be a revolutionary force in the world of business travel as much as any other industry. 

What that looks like – beyond the known use cases of Chat GPT and other LLMs – still seems to be shaking out, but Lumo (winners of BTS’s Dragons Den-style Face-Off competition) offer an intriguing glimpse into the future. Their product uses AI to predict flight disruptions, both at booking stage (predictability that any given flight will go ahead) and pre-journey, to suggest alternative flights/itineraries as necessary. Judges recognised that disruption mitigation would be a real problem solver for travel managers and TMCs alike.

More generally, the panel speakers at Tuesday’s Generative AI session were generally positive about the role AI could play, arguing that greater levels of automation will amount to more seamless experiences for passengers and allow travel managers to swap manual tasks for deeper, more strategic work.

Keep your team moving with a ground transportation platform built for the future. Sign up for a Gett business account in minutes.


Gett drives growth 

Profitable growth delivered over six consecutive quarters Strong unit economics despite challenging Q4 ESG framework develop... Read More

4 min read