Three quarters (75%) of respondents expect their organisation’s 2022 travel volume to eclipse 2019 levels, with more than a third (32%) citing they expect volumes to increase significantly.
The report provides further green shoots as the data indicates that organisations are keen to source travel across borders. More than 69 per cent of travel managers in the UK and across Europe say they are sourcing internationally (both within and outside of Europe). In contrast, fewer than eight per cent of travel managers are sourcing exclusively domestic options, demonstrating the significant shift towards a desire to travel more broadly.
Travel budgets growing as business travel recognised as critical way to drive revenue
The report also reveals the majority (81%) of respondents expect their business travel budget per trip to increase in 2022, compared to spend levels of 2019. Whilst this increase is partly attributed to rising airline and hotel costs within the sector, corporate travel managers also cite other considerations including business travel being recognised as an instrumental way to expand sales – therefore increased budget is required to help achieve targets.
Travel managers also source for meetings and events
88 per cent of corporate travel managers surveyed are responsible for sourcing hotels for meetings and events in addition to sourcing for employee travel, with 64% citing event types include large external conferences and trade shows. Regionally the markets where there is the most crossover in roles are the Netherlands (95%) and France (91%). With expanded roles and responsibilities, travel professionals are frequently managing larger budgets and have increased buying power. Industry suppliers need to understand these emerging buyer dynamics to build better relationships and attract more delegates and programmes to their hotels, venues and destinations.
Changing programme priorities
More than 83 per cent of respondents reported that their travel programme considerations have either significantly or somewhat changed when compared to 2019. Areas that have increased in importance include vendor flexibility, environmental sustainability, and traveller preferences, among others.
Travel managers have also become more interested in dual or dynamic rate offers from hotels. More than two thirds (62%) of respondents say they are now more open to discussing these types of rates than they were in 2019, demonstrating a desire to compare rates to maximise value. These insights can help hoteliers better understand their buyers and prepare for more successful negotiations.
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