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What's Trending in Business Travel?

By: Turf Valley Resort / 14 Mar 2024

Business travel continues to make a steady comeback since coming to a screeching halt due to the pandemic. A portion of this trend demonstrates that more companies are realizing the value of travel and in-person meetings and momentum is only expected to continue in 2024.

According to the latest Business Travel Outlook Poll conducted by Global Business Travel Association, nearly 60% of travel buyers expect more travel in the coming year, with two-thirds anticipating increases in business travel spending.

We weathered "work from home", video conferencing and virtual meetings, so what's next and what can travelers and attendees expect in 2024 & beyond?

Let's look at trends shaping business travel in the coming year:

Growth of Secondary Markets

One of the most anticipated business travel trends for 2024 is growth into emerging and secondary markets. Recent data shows secondary markets dominating growth in early bookings for conferences and corporate events in 2024. In 2023 more than ever, organizers faced rising costs and competition for space in the traditional top markets. The result is and was market compression and a growing shift to secondary cities. Lexington, Kentucky led secondary markets with 76.4% year-over-year growth, followed by Syracuse, New York (34.6%), and Richmond, Virginia (33.4%). The global business travel market is estimated to grow to $2,997.2 billion (!!) by 2030. Rapid expansion into emerging African and Asian markets will be a key factor in the anticipated growth. In order to accommodate demand in these emerging markets, business travel services are ramping up their offerings and alternative accommodations (think: Airbnb) are experiencing huge growth in order to support business travelers.

Bleisure Here to Stay

While it's not a new concept, bleisure travel is having a resurgence in the post-pandemic world, due to a widespread increase in flexible work schedules and the "work from anywhere" benefit. The hybrid of business & leisure travel also continues to grow as a result of the shift towards a younger workforce demographic. Globally, more than a third of Gen Z and Millennial business travelers said they plan to extend a business trip in 2024 in order to enjoy leisure time before or after their work obligations. The modern-day business traveler is more likely to prioritize the work-life balance, often achieved by squeezing in some relaxation into a work trip. Bleisure travel benefits the guest (time to unwind and experience local flavor), as well as the hotel (extended stays = more revenue on shoulder nights).

Sustainability Rules

The term on everyone's radar. Because organizations are becoming more aware of their environmental impact, many have an increased focus on sustainable options for business travel. According to a 2023 Deloitte corporate travel study, 40% of U.S. businesses surveyed are actively working to optimize corporate travel policies to reduce their carbon footprint. Considerations are being made in regard to: use of sustainable aviation fuel, carbon emissions, eco-friendly hotels & room amenities, paperless travel, availability of electric vehicles, and other sustainable transportation methods. While the initial costs may be steeper, organizations are now at the point where they need to ask whether or not they can afford to neglect sustainable travel moving forward.

Artificial Intelligence

Let's face it, unless you live under a rock, you can't avoid the topic of Artificial Intelligence…and the travel industry isn't immune. In general, technology is crucial to simplifying logistics, connecting travelers and ensuring continuity in everything we do. More specifically, AI technology will power new business travel solutions, with the ability to analyze data, predict flight delays, recommend accommodations, and more! Corporate and leisure travel sectors have already benefitted from AI by way of virtual travel agents with the ability to negotiate low rates and customize travel itineraries. The technology is also being used to increase the amount of traveler data collected, so companies can learn more about consumer behavior and predictions. AI powered assistants help companies improve their travel management by providing business travelers with assistance, live updates, and by streamlining the check-in process. AI technology has grown and changed in such a short amount of time and it will be fascinating to see what's to come!  

What trends will be the biggest benefit to you in your 2024 travels? 


Written by:

Betsy Collings, Corporate Account Executive at Turf Valley Resort

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