Corporate TravelBleisure, rideshare and food delivery platforms surge in popularity but sustainability and inflation are key concerns: new GBTA study.

Are your corporate travel policies keeping up with the times?

Points to ponder for corporate travel managers as post-pandemic business travel evolves.
Points to ponder for corporate travel managers as post-pandemic business travel evolves. Photo Credit: GettyImages/XiXinXing

With business travel and in-person meetings once again on the rise, companies need to revisit about their travel policies, urges Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), based on a recent quantitative survey of international corporate travel managers.

The study finds that travel managers emerging from the pandemic are more concerned about a few key considerations: traveller safety, policy compliance, and sustainability. Compared to two years ago, 75% of employers are more focused on traveller safety/well-being, 55% are more focused on sustainability/social responsibility, and 53% are more focused on travel policy compliance/enforcement.

The use of rideshare platforms
Half of travel programmes (49%) currently have a business account with a rideshare platform and one-third (35%) would consider it. The most important features cited by travel managers were reporting (76%), integration with expense platforms (69%), and ability to apply company policies (62%).

Making sustainability a priority
An overwhelming majority (84%) say sustainability is significant to their company’s travel programme, with 50% saying it is very or extremely important.

But even when companies state that sustainability is a priority, not all are willing to incur significant additional costs. Only 6% of respondents say their company currently allows employees to spend more on sustainable travel options, and an additional one-quarter (26%) are considering allowing employees to spend more.

Bleisure is better
Ninety percent of respondents say employees are more (30%) or equally as interested (60%) in "bleisure" travel, compared to pre-pandemic times. And although 36% say their company’s travel policy expressly allows bleisure trips, 49% their policy does not, but employees are often allowed to take these trips in practice.

Inflation’s impact on meals
Meal prices are rising because of inflation. While almost one-third of respondents (29%) say their company has raised its spending limit or per diem for meals, a larger number (56%) say these are unchanged from last fiscal or calendar year.

Food delivery is here to stay
More than half (55%) of travel managers say their company’s employees use food delivery apps on business trips. Most travel programmes (52%) already have or would consider having a business account with a food delivery platform. Features important to travel managers are integration with expense software (74%), reporting (72%), ability to order group meals (66%), and ability to apply company policies (64%).

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