After months of preparation, we attended the Business Travel Show Europe at ExCeL London at the end of June. To keep you up-to-date, we’ve summarised the main travel industry topics that were talked about during two jam-packed days at BTS 2023.
1. AI isn’t going away
According to travel experts, Artificial Intelligence like Chat GPT isn’t going away any time soon. However, It’s important to remember that we’re still in the early stages of their development; and they can’t be relied on in situations when you need 100% accurate data. Yet many experts say as time goes by, we’ll learn how to effectively integrate it into travel solutions, it is just important to implement them in the right scenarios – such as notifying travellers what the weather is like at their destination before they travel.
2. Bleisure is on the rise
We’ve seen a lot more people merging their business trips with their holidays. For example, someone might be away for a 5-day business trip and decide to add on 4 days of holiday to turn it into a trip filled with work and leisure. Experts forecast trips will continue to be longer and less frequent while bleisure will keep shaping travel patterns.
3. Be where your users are
Businesses around the world are keen to simplify day to day operations for their teams by providing them with the right information at the right time, in a convenient place. One way they are doing this is by integrating their travel solutions with their communication systems like Microsoft Teams, Slack, etc.
As the workforce has become less reliant on email, businesses are finding that making this change saves more time and results in fewer travel communications getting missed compared to email.
4. A single point of contact is still key
The amount of flexibility and expertise you get by having a dedicated person looking after your business travel, is invaluable. Travel managers across the industry agreed that it provides you with a go-to person who you can call on when you have a query without being passed over to different members of staff. Having a main point of contact assigned to their accounts meant there was someone who knew their business, and gave them a greater sense of security when they needed assistance with travel.
5. Sustainable travel options
Sustainability remains front of mind for business travel managers. Businesses are increasingly setting ambitious sustainability targets, and one way that they can work towards reaching them is by choosing to travel greener. There are a number of approaches they can take, but no matter which they choose, they must be able to measure their impact. Without knowing what your carbon footprint looks like now, and how it looks after you have implemented your sustainability measures, you can’t judge your successes or failures.
When considering how you can achieve your sustainability goals, think about whether you can easily access data about your CO2 emissions. In what ways are your travel partners driving towards a greener future? These are some of the questions businesses need to consider when choosing travel partners and software solutions.
So there you have it! A short and sweet summary of the top travel industry trends we picked up on at the Business Travel Show Europe 2023.
What else is the industry talking about? Let us know in the comments!