Skift Take

Business travel is at a key crossroads. What will the sector look like in 2021? This new report, which analyzes the results of a survey of several hundred business travelers and travel managers around the world, offers predictions and forecasts for how business travel will evolve in the years ahead.

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The corporate travel sector has never faced a challenge like Covid-19. Even as governments and organizations around the world race to finalize and distribute a vaccine, 2020 has left its mark on the business travel sector in significant ways, both large and small.

For those organizations with essential workers, 2020’s most immediate concerns were how to most effectively design new travel policies, ensure traveler safety, offer more flexibility in terms of adjusting itineraries, and provide real-time information about risks to program managers.

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But looking beyond the nuts and bolts of business trip logistics during a pandemic, there are bigger questions emerging about how the entire sector should reorient itself for the new environment yet to come. After all, in a year when a significant portion of the corporate travel world stayed home, and a large number of employees worked remotely, many organizations are thinking more deeply about how to best utilize their business travel programs and expenditures moving forward.

While there’s considerable consensus across the spectrum that face-to-face business travel interactions will never be replaced, there’s new efforts being made by decision makers to use business travel programs more strategically to support company goals. What will a best-in-class travel program look like in 2021 and beyond? What are the biggest concerns of business travelers about returning to the road, and what will they need from trip providers to make their trips more comfortable?

Each of the themes above is explored in more detail in this latest edition of Skift and TripActions’ annual forward-looking review of the corporate travel sector. This new report, which includes the results of a survey distributed to several hundred business travelers and travel managers around the world in mid-2020, is synthesized with additional interviews from business travel industry leaders and a roundup of the latest sector news to provide an assessment of how business travel will evolve in the years ahead.

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In this report:

  • Predictions for when the business travel sector will recover from the downturn caused by Covid-19
  • An analysis of how business travel habits and preferences will evolve as a result of the changes taking place in 2020
  • A review of the results of a survey distributed to business travelers and company decision makers about their evolving corporate travel needs
  • Interviews with corporate travel leaders about their predictions for business travel in 2021 and beyond

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Tags: corporate travel, covid-19, travel managers, travel recovery, tripactions

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