Corporate TravelThere's a growing need for the industry to curate offerings for corporate travellers as priorities have drastically evolved.

As corporate bookings rise, so does the demand for low-cost carriers

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While corporate travel is rebounding, the landscape has evolved and the industry needs to evolve along with it, according to Sabre.
While corporate travel is rebounding, the landscape has evolved and the industry needs to evolve along with it, according to Sabre. Photo Credit: Adobe/denisismagilov

As corporate travel gradually eases into the post-pandemic era, Sabre notes that the increase in corporate bookings is turning up new trends such as a switch to low-cost carriers and a focus on new technology.

Corporate travel agents and travel management companies in 21 countries across APAC recently revealed through Sabre’s survey of how they are adjusting their business models to adapt to the new trends in the corporate travel landscape.

Survey respondents say that the corporate travel industry should increasingly try to tailor make their offerings for new realities in the workforce, such as remote and blended working arrangements, while embracing technology to capitalise on, and drive, ongoing recovery. Key findings include:

• The majority of corporate travel agents (84%) have changed their business priorities as a result of the pandemic, and are now focused on optimising costs and efficiencies, while meeting customer and business demands with fewer employees.

• Four-fifths of respondents have adopted new technological solutions to manage Covid-19 related risk over the past two years. And, of those who haven’t, 42% plan to do so within the next two years. The most popular solutions are travel risk management tools, automated workflows and virtual payment tools.

• Half of agents said a rise in internal corporate travel, to bring remote workers together, will create recovery opportunities, while 45% said emerging corporate travel markets are important for growth.

• There’s strong optimism in the market, with 82% saying they expect a return to pre-pandemic corporate travel levels, and 15% expecting a boom greater than pre-Covid-19, within the next 12 months.

• More than two-thirds of respondents have seen an increase in bookings in the three months to August. Most are reporting an increase of not more than 30% but there’s a notable 14% with an increase of more than 50%.

• 55% say company Covid-19-related travel restrictions are easing, and 38% say total travel spend is increasing.

• Cost remains a key consideration. More than two-thirds have seen a moderate or significant increase in bookings with low-cost carriers. The trend is most prevalent in North Asia where there’s been a 42% switch from FSCs to LCCs.

• Corporate travellers place high priority on information, flexibility, and hygiene. However, companies are also turning their attention to sustainability as one of the key personalisation priorities for corporate travel.

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