Business travel budgets will increase in 2024 versus 2023 spend, according to 57% of respondents to a recent survey.
The same corporates place ‘traveller experience’ as the second most crucial consideration in 2024, following cost-savings. And 46% of respondents confirmed they were not likely to limit business travel for the rest of the year.
The new Business of Travel report from Accor also highlighted that business travel spending is now down just 24% from 2019 and is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024 (Deloitte).
Professionals estimate 25% more revenue when meeting in person, with every trip carefully evaluated in terms of ROI and ROE – return on investment, and, increasingly, return on expectation.
Virtual meetings are an accepted part of the working landscape in ways that weren’t commonplace pre-Covid, but until the tech catches up, deals are still being sealed with a handshake.
Environmental concerns were front of mind for many, with 54% putting carbon emissions as their number one CSR priority. The onus lies both on travellers and hosts, with both parties having to work together for more sustainable travel.
Combining meetings with purposeful leisure time means travellers are staying longer, doing more, and going down a gear to make the most of their carbon output.
Younger employees are more likely to combine business with pleasure via blended ‘bleisure’ trips, but the trend is increasingly prevalent across demographics.
The survey also found 67% of Accor clients extended their business trips in 2022.
Travel bookers urge caution from an insurance standpoint, as partners and families are often not covered and grey areas exist when it comes to splitting invoices, dividing loyalty points and benefits.