Despite foreboding signs of recession-like economic behavior, current trade and financial frictions, and ongoing geopolitical risks, Michael McCormick, executive director at Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), feels that global travel will be propelled by emerging markets and is on a seemingly unstoppable growth trajectory. By 2022 their projection is that global business travel spending will top $1.7 trillion with China, India, Indonesia and the Scandinavia markets leading the way.
This article reminds us that employees' value and desire business travel and global mobility, and that it is an attraction to companies when candidates (especially millennials) are considering coming aboard. "Blei-sure" travel - the combination of leveraging a business trip to slip in some leisure into it - is something that two-thirds of business travelers indicated was important to them. These travelers indicated that the amenities that make the most difference for them are comfortable hotels, nonstop flights and good internet connection. Technology has had a huge impact on business travel putting the ability to book travel at your fingertips.
With the expectation that business travel increases for companies, security and duty of care initiatives move to the top of the list of concerns that need to be addressed. Monitoring locations for safety and hardship, better tracking of employees globally and providing greater resources for travelers are all of the highest priorities and many global mobility teams are becoming the primary owner of extended business travel.
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As Mr. McCormick summarizes at the end of the article:
"Ultimately, increased mobility and business travel are investments aimed at growing both companies' bottom lines and the overall global economy. It is no secret that business travel drives business growth and face-to-face interactions help get business done-and this will remain unchanged as the future of work and travel continue to evolve."
The future of work and business travel are intrinsically intertwined. Converging factors of a dramatically shifting worldwide economy, increasing numbers of employees seeking global experiences and more businesses looking to new and emerging markets for expansion are all putting global travel on a significant growth trajectory.