Companies Will Spend $1.25 Trillion on Business Travel This Year
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) says that companies around the world will spend $1.25 trillion on business travel this year.
63% of American firms increased their business travel spend in 2015, bringing the global total way, way up from previous years. But while the total market has risen dramatically, the expenditures are taking different forms than in decades past. The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) reports that while employers are saying yes to more travel, they are pinching pennies when it comes to each individual trip.
Centralized booking systems are now the norm in the corporate world, and on-the-road expenses often must meet rigorous qualifications to be fully reimbursed. Upgrades to hotel rooms and even the nicer cabin classes of flights have been some of the first perks to be pulled in this brave new world.
What do all of these restrictions and perk-prunings mean for the actual employees themselves? Well, business travel is getting harder. Airport security takes longer, and while Wi-Fi onboard flights sounds like a technological marvel, business travelers are increasingly expected to put that juice to use and work during their flights. But even so, more than 50 percent of business travelers are reportedly happy with all of this traveling, and one-third of them would like to spend even more time on the road next year.
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What Your Travel Experience Will Look Like in the Not-So-Distant Future
Increasing demand and new technology are driving promising developments that should make business travel more pleasant, from airplanes with party rooms to suitcases that tell you where they are.
Airports: Contractor Skanska USA has identified three key factors driving airport design today: bigger planes, the need for flexible and efficient security screening and the ability to accommodate the increased time passengers spend in terminals. In the terminal, biometrics may replace your driver’s license.
Planes: After years of customer complaints about airplane design, a nice twist: Cabins may end up looking and feeling more welcoming. Airbus recently designed a concept cabin that eliminated traditional first, business and economy classes in favor of areas to relax, play games or hold meetings.
Hotels: The hotel room of the future may offer completely wired rooms in which every selection, from the TV to the drapes to the temperature, is controlled via tablet computer.
Gear: Several startups are racing forward with smart suitcases. Bluesmart offers an app controls the case’s digital lock and offers a proximity sensor, location tracking, digital scale and built-in phone charger. Your smartphone may soon also be replacing your wallet.
Take a look at more of what’s in store for airports, airplanes, hotels and travel gear here.
Expensify users now can scan receipts, track mileage and create and submit expense reports from the tool’s new Apple iPad mobile application, released on Monday. Apple chose Expensify to be part of its mobility partnership program to work on “innovative mobile solutions” for iOS customers, Expensify said in a statement.
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How are Millennials Redefining Business Travel?
While traveling for business, millennials are spending more company money than their gen X and baby boomer colleagues. But before your company puts its expense accounts on lockdown, it’s worth first considering how that trend could be an opportunity rather than a threat.
Millennials aren’t necessarily wasteful in spending. They want the best bang for the buck, rather than the cheapest options available. For one thing, “bleisure” prevents burnout. Whereas long, frequent business trips are usually considered a burden, millennials are turning them into unique experiences, which makes them more willing to travel for work in the first place. And they’ll be more productive, engaged, and loyal in the long run. As more companies do business with global clients, their travel needs will likely expand. As they do, those employers that embrace millennials’ approach to business trips can turn it into a selling point, giving them an edge on recruiting top young talent. For more, click here.
How Millennials and Baby Boomers Differ on Business-Travel Desires
Millenials want to travel for work at rates nearly double those of baby boomers (45% versus 26%, respectively), according to the GBTA, who conducted the study.The study also measured reliance on social media between the generations. Younger members of the workforce use social media to connect with friends when on business trips at much higher numbers than their older peers (46% versus 17%, respectively).When it comes to travel perks, the generational preferences continue to divide: 47% of baby boomers insist on paying no baggage fees, while only 37% of millennial think fees are problematic. On the flip, 30% of millennials expect free Wi-Fi, compared to just 17% of baby boomers.
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