It’s all about priorities. Companies are now reviving their travel programs with a new set of top-down corporate focuses, regardless of where employees choose to work from.
Future of Work
As organizations start to embrace distributed work and virtual meetings, the corporate travel and meetings sectors are preparing for change. Read Skift’s ongoing coverage of this shift in business travel behavior through the lens of both brands and consumers.
You may have noticed the status quo has all but returned.
For several months now the corporate travel sector has been preoccupied with pre-pandemic favorites like booking channels, sustainability and simply getting back out there.
It’s a welcome change from pre-departure Covid tests and mask mandates. While the pandemic has faded, the concept of remote work hasn’t. It’s morphed significantly since the start of the year. At first it was compulsory; now it’s a lot more fluid in nature.
Skfit’s Future of Work Briefing has chartered its evolution for more than two years. We’ve examined how household travel names adjusted to new types of travelers; how governments and their economies reacted to the growing numbers of digital nomads; how travel entrepreneurs created new businesses to respond to their new needs.
The conclusion? Every business has been impacted in some way.
Take Skift for example. Early on in the pandemic we permanently closed our global office network and dived into the world of virtual work.
From a personal perspective, working remotely opened up the door to relocate to a new country, France, creating multiple new sets of travel patterns, professionally and otherwise.
What has become apparent since the start of the year is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to remote work. Organizations now take highly individual approaches and stances as they rev back up their business travel.
Managing remote work is important because during the pandemic remote work replaced business travel when it came to companies’ policies around work travel. That is no longer the case, though, and we’ve entered a two-track phase where remote work runs in parallel with a revitalized and revamped corporate travel universe.
Today some common themes are returning. Take the Global Business Travel Association’s latest poll: It just quizzed almost 18,000 travel professionals for their views on airfare distribution.
Other big topics set to dominate the rest of this year include carbon emissions, with enormous pressures bearing down on companies to become greener. Then there’s identifying new business travel pathways, with China and India set to dominate. We’ll be hearing a lot more about artificial intelligence too. And in the U.S. the impact of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure bill will be felt widely.
As the world starts to stabilize, and businesses find an equilibrium, this will be the last Future of Work Briefing from me as we bring corporate travel back into focus.
We’ll continue to look at remote work’s impact on both business travel and on destination management, but we’ll also be working hard to explain the current state of the new corporate travel landscape, and what that means to business travelers, companies and the businesses impacted by their actions.
U.S. startup Moliving, which builds prefabricated hospitality pods, is turning to crowdfunding to expand its business. It has selected StartEngine to manage the online funding campaign.
The hospitality group is differentiated for now, as it combines a few trends, ticking off digital nomads, wellness, luxury and sustainability.
Moliving acts as a joint venture partner for landowners, who contribute their land and infrastructure, including social areas such as food and beverage, spa, and event spaces. It says its portable hotel suites are designed to pop up anywhere and anytime, so it can help landowners monetize underutilized assets.
It’s also taking care of the revenue management side of things as well, and claims it can predict seasonal demand and adjust room inventory to match demand in real-time.
Merging the worlds of the great outdoors and hospitality is set to be a big theme in 2023, with companies like Getaway and Campsited doubling down on promoting Mother Nature’s benefits.
Opening up a portion of capital for the public is becoming a method for brands courting digital nomads. The view is that investor-members would be more likely to become loyal guests. Outsite, for example, racked up more than $1 million in a short period.
Its first site, Hurley House in upstate New York, opens later this year. There are currently seven sites in active development.
“This first property will set the new standard for sustainable hospitality, and more importantly, is the blueprint to our eco-responsible expansion of the Moliving brand.” said founder and CEO Jordan Bem.
10-Second Corporate Travel Catch-Up
Who and what Skift has covered over the past week: Air France, Amadeus, American Express, Avianca, Global Business Travel Association, Hilton, JetBlue, Premier Inn, Sonder, Zoku.
Expensify Converts Office Into Client Co-Working Lounge
Spend management platform Expensify has transformed its San Francisco office into a dedicated lounge for its Expensify members and their guests. Located at 88 Kearny Street, the venue will host speakers’ series, concerts and other exclusive member events. Guests use Expensify’s in-house, chat-based concierge service to access features. “For over a decade, we’ve traveled overseas as a team for a month a year. And wherever we go, we always seek out the same ideal work environment: a hip cafe with great coffee, strong cocktails, and cool strangers,” said David Barrett, founder and CEO. “But coming back to our office was always such a buzzkill … so we decided to do something about it.”
Hubli’s New Micro-Service for Internal Meetings
Meetings platform Hubli has launched Office Connect to help businesses use office space to book internal meetings. It will act as a micro-service integrating into clients’ existing internal meeting room reservation technology, and can also highlight preferred hotels located close to the office locations. It claims the new system will help organizations significantly streamline how their teams meet and work in their offices. Office Connect sits alongside its group lodging reservations engine and external venues platform.
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Tags: business travel, climate change, corporate travel, digital nomads, Future of Work Briefing, gbta, ndc, new york state, remote work, sustainability