Traveller confidence and sustainability take front row seats in corporate travel agendas: AMEX GBT

At every stage, the focus for the travel and meetings sectors must remain above all on prioritising customer safety and wellbeing to help keep travel and economies moving

American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has published a whitepaper setting out key trends that travel and meetings & events managers should keep an eye on for 2022.

Along with specific sector trends across hotel, air and ground travel, GBT highlights four specific trends:

  • New ways of working and living that are transforming the travel manager’s role
  • Traveller confidence and trust: the keys to keeping travel moving
  • How sustainability will continue to drive corporate travel agendas, raising demand for greener options
  • Why travel and meetings programmes and policies are positioned play key roles in driving progress in diversity, equity and inclusion.
At every stage, the focus for the travel and meetings sectors must remain above all on prioritising customer safety and wellbeing to help keep travel and economies moving

“Travel and meetings managers will be increasingly visible in 2022. Their responsibilities will be more integrated with other departments as mobility becomes central to the culture of organizations that need to bring distributed teams together,” said Drew Crawley GBT’s chief commercial officer.

“They’re also helping to set the agenda for sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion and will be instrumental in helping organisations understand and adapt to cultural evolution,” he added.

Some of the key points in the whitepaper are as follows:

A seat at the table: new ways of working and living are transforming the travel and meetings & events managers’ roles

The role of travel and meetings and events managers are set to evolve. Traditional patterns of work and travel are shifting, professional and personal lives are blurring, and travel and mobility are becoming more central to ‘traditional’ HR issues. This could see these roles become pivotal: heading up wider employee mobility and interaction policies, budgets and programmes that support overall company culture and strategies. Ultimately, this would result in a stronger voice and a seat at the C-suite table.

Traveller confidence: the key to keep people moving
Communication and safety are driving travellers’ decisions on flights and accommodations. While timely and targeted messages to engage with travellers are important, effective communications are two-way. Travellers need to be empowered to get advice and give feedback on their experiences. These insights are vital in increasing employee engagement and can ensure travel programmes and policies align with people’s expectations.

Sustainability will continue to drive corporate agendas, raising demand for greener travel options
Business leaders are under pressure to demonstrate their commitment to emissions targets, not just with investors but with employees and the broader community. This puts travel and meetings programmes under new scrutiny. Data will be key, and managers will need to work closely with suppliers to analyse data, implement and measure the impact of sustainability levers.

Travel and meetings can drive progress in diversity, equity and inclusion
Corporate travel professionals are in a prime position to play a pivotal role in their organisation’s DE&I strategy. Corporate travel managers are using policy to support all employees and to demonstrate that inclusiveness is integral to company culture.

Global aviation should be on the recovery track – but capacity, schedule and price will remain unpredictable well into 2022. Cost pressures due to the availability of fewer flights and reduced route coverage mean travel managers need to be at the ready to recalibrate expectations and help their travellers adjust to the new normal.

The global hospitality recovery will build momentum in 2022. This is good news for hoteliers but a challenging sourcing environment for travel and events buyers. Global labour shortages are also impacting hotel pricing and with rates trending upwards, buyers may need to move quickly to avoid or contain rising costs.

Scarcity will be a critical issue for car rentals in 2022. There simply aren’t enough cars to meet demand. The ongoing mismatch between constrained supply and growing demand means car rental prices are set to rise. It’s time for travel managers to have conversations with car rental partners about the needs of their travellers and the ability to supply the programme.

The full version of the GBT Trends 2022 whitepaper can be found here.

Sponsored Post