Now that the world’s safely made its transition into 2017, we figured it’d be a good time to start looking ahead to what could/might/will happen in the business travel world over the next 12 months.
(Got any other predictions? Let us know!)
Mixing business and pleasure
We’ve covered this before on our blog. Millennials are dominating the workplace. The upshot is that this generation typically wants to get more out of every trip they make — work trips included. Consequently, the boundaries between business and leisure travel continue to blur. And why not?
Which leads us neatly onto…
‘Sightdoing’ is the new sightseeing
While adding on a couple extra days to a work trip to do some sightseeing is easy enough (and nothing new), it seems many business travelers want to skip the usual tourist traps — opting for sightdoing rather than sightseeing. The rise of Airbnb-style accommodations and Uber taxi services reflect a need for more authentic ‘live like a local’ experiences. We’re almost certain to see more services like these cropping up across the travel sector in 2017.
Efficiency over luxury
Business travelers are increasingly willing to forgo access to traditional luxuries like room service, minibars, and a swanky in-house restaurant in favor of add-ons that’ll make their stay more productive. For example, having an on-site gym, a meeting room, or office space can make a difference. WiFi has become a non-negotiable. Considering 75% of business travelers consider it a necessity, WiFi is so commonplace it’s almost a non-issue for hotels, restaurants, and even airlines.
Lack of loyalty
Does anyone really collect Air Miles anymore? According to Conde Nast Traveler, points and loyalty schemes continue to be devalued; offering miles-for-money, rather than miles-for-travel. Plus the ascent of price comparison websites (or smart algorithm tools, like Arbitrip…) means that the schemes offered by longer established travel and hospitality brands don’t offer the same value they once did.
A lack of brand loyalty has leveled the playing field, meaning lesser-known airlines and hotels offering better value-for-money can now compete with the big hitters.
Travel tech gets sexy(ier)
As the whole Internet of Things space continues to blow up (in a good way), smart and connected devices will get even smarter and, er, more connected (!). Think carry-on luggage with built in USB ports, GPS, and portable Wi-Fi hotspots; taking travel advice from a chatbot; and plugging into VR for a pre-departure teaser. Oh, and expect to book flights via Alexa in the very near future. Yup, even for work trips.