Traveling for Business and Finishing Strong in 2022
For many, the past few months put a focus on well-deserved vacations, personal time off, and more leisure travel in general. But turning into the final third of the year typically means more business travel as a critical element in helping organizations and professionals hit their annual goals, achieve client objectives, and come together for meetings, conferences and events before the holidays and a new year is upon us.
If recent media interest is an indicator, many are wondering what the coming months will mean for business travel. GBTA research – and especially the latest Business Travel Index released last month – provided data and insights included in an Associated Press article on continued travel recovery as well as the Wall Street Journal’s look at blended – also known as “bleisure” – travel. At GBTA, we’ve also been sharing more on our evolution as I outlined in my recent Q&A with Business Travel News.
Although we are predicting an extended recovery to get back to 2019 levels, the current size of business travel and its impact on economies, companies, and regional/global collaboration are substantial – and a force to be reckoned with. Travelers themselves seem to need more guidance than ever in the face of ongoing disruptions, even as their own personal tech is already pervasive – so the roles of the travel manager and suppliers who serve those business travelers become ever more important.
The GBTA Board and our GBTA Team have been discussing future-focused strategy and innovation, including how to future-proof our industry. Without a doubt, that includes cultivating and recruiting the next generation of business travel professionals, which is a long-standing mission of GBTA Ladders. Ladders brings the best of our industry and GBTA – community, education, career growth, and connection – to help individuals grow as professionals. Applications are now being accepted for the 2022/2023 Ladders season and the deadline is September 28. Whether you are a participant, mentor, or champion, now more than ever is the time to invest in the future of our industry. We are especially seeking mentees – so please spread the word at your companies as we nurture the next generations of innovators and leaders within our industry.
GBTA continues to invest in – and experience – the future of work, as well. With the rise of hybrid and remote work along with the recent sale of our GBTA HQ building in Alexandria, VA, the GBTA team for now will be working fully remote. (You’ll find our new mailing address on GBTA.org.) We have the opportunity to re-imagine what works best for our team as well as our member-focused mission.
News to Know:
European hotels profit from surge in summer demand
Higher room rates this summer have allowed hotels in Europe’s major cities to surpass pre-Covid profit levels, according to the latest data from industry analyst STR. Properties in Berlin have benefited the most from a summer surge in business with gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) reaching $34.32 in July, an increase of 83 per cent compared with the same month in 2019. Although occupancies across Europe remain around 10 per cent lower than pre-Covid, average room rates have risen by 27 per cent on 2019 levels due to strong demand from both leisure and business travelers.
European aviation groups call for EU-wide mandate on SAF use
European aviation groups have called for an EU-wide mandate on the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), ahead of key negotiations over how emissions from air travel will be cut across the continent. The Fit for 55 package will determine how the EU turns its climate goals into law, including its commitment to cut emissions by at least 55 per cent by 2030. This will be the subject of talks between the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Council in the coming months.The key elements for air travel are the ReFuelEU proposal, which would oblige airlines to increase their use of SAF at EU airports (known as the blending mandate), and a potential overhaul of the existing EU ETS (Emissions Trading System), which has already been beset by political divisions.
US Companies Step Up Travel, Shrug Off Economic Uncertainty
US companies are overlooking uncertainty about the economy and booking fall trips at nearly six times last year’s rate after a flat summer for business travel, according to an analysis. While demand is climbing, average booked fares were down 23% to $419 in August from $543 in mid-May, travel manager TripActions said in a new report. That was about $10 cheaper than in August 2019.
Japan to waive tourist visa requirements as part of border easing
Japan’s government is planning to waive tourist visa requirements from some countries as part of a further easing of border controls enacted to stop the spread of COVID-19, Fuji News Network reported on Monday.Prime Minister Fumio Kishida may decide as early as this week on the easing, which would also allow individual travellers to visit Japan without travel agency bookings, FNN reported. Japan did not require tourist visas for 68 countries and regions before the pandemic.
GBTA News and Reminders:
Designed as a comprehensive guide to the key areas of managed travel, GBTA’s Fundamentals curriculum includes a full range of topics including safety, policy, trends, performance, and more. Participants in this course gain a better understanding of business travel management and make themselves indispensable to the business travel needs of their organization. The program covers 7 modules and includes 4 two-hour live sessions with an instructor. Participants will need to complete a recorded session and prep work prior to each virtual session.
With corporate travel and in-person meetings ramping up, businesses need to be extra thoughtful about how they’re implementing—or re-implementing—travel programs. In conjunction with this meaningful return to business travel, Uber for Business and GBTA created a first-ever ground transportation report based on a quantitative survey of corporate travel managers across the US and Canada. Join this interactive webinar, presented by research and travel experts from GBTA and Uber for Business, to learn how travel managers at some of the world’s largest companies are thinking about
Join us as Spotnana shares details about the deep integration they’ve built to deliver superior traveler experiences, and discuss the future of personalization in travel.