Skift Take

“It’s the economy, stupid.” The legendary 1992 quote from political strategist James Carville is equally relevant today as it seems like almost every conversation about the future of corporate travel and expense is now focused on inflation and other economic factors. In this recent webinar, we discussed how companies are adjusting their policies and technology solutions to keep pace.

A recent Skift webinar, It’s the Economy, Stupid: Travel and Expense at a Critical Inflection Point, discussed the state of business travel and how changes to work culture make it even more critical to driving corporate growth. As the cost of business travel increases, travel and finance managers must consider travel as more than a line item and position it as a strategic, holistic investment that incentivizes, motivates, and drives employee retention for the organization.

In this video:

  • The return to business travel is real… and it’s spectacular. Enthusiasm among business travelers to return to the road is palpable. According to Skift and TripActions data from a June 2022 survey, which will be featured in an upcoming research report to be published in September, nearly half of business travelers said that they’ll take at least six business trips this year — up from only about one-third who took that many trips in 2021.
  • Recovery doesn’t mean corporate travel is “business as usual”. The rise of remote work is not only adding to business travel volume, it’s also complicating managers’ ability to communicate ever-changing policies to an increasingly distributed workforce.
  • The role of travel and expense policy is changing. The pandemic pause in travel gave companies the opportunity to rethink their T&E programs, to right size for the moment, to modernize their toolset, and to make sure the systems in place could accommodate the way travel has changed since Covid-19 entered the world.
  • Automated expense management solutions increase compliance and manage costs. The existing toolset for most companies hasn’t really evolved or experienced any kind of profound innovation. The problem is not an issue that more bodies alone can solve. Companies need a modern, agile, and automated tech solution that can handle the kind of exponential volume growth that’s occurring.

Demand for business travel has returned almost as quickly as governments could say “no Covid test required to enter.” But with inflation rising, corporate spending that was already under the microscope is getting a double dose of scrutiny.

As the conversation shifts away from pandemic restrictions and disruptions, the future of corporate travel and expense is now focused on the potential effects of inflation and other economic factors. How can companies adjust their policies and solutions to keep pace?

In this recent webinar, TripActions and ClimateAi joined Skift to discuss how travel, card, and expense solutions enable flexible and adaptable travel policies that control program costs and empower employees to spend responsibly.

This content was created collaboratively by TripActions and Skift’s branded content studio SkiftX

Tags: business travel, corporate travel, corporate travel management, inflation, SkiftX Showcase: Technology, travel and expense, tripactions