The 25-page report, titled Business Travel Trends 2024, was produced by Globetrender in partnership with Cytric Easy, a digital travel tool developed by Amadeus.
It outlined a series of trends that Globetrender believes will be at the heart of business travel this year, driven by two synchronous shifts in attitude.
“When looking at the future of business travel in 2024, it’s clear that two macro shifts are happening in parallel,” explained Jenny Southan, CEO and Founder of Globetrender. “Technology is making the planning and execution of trips ever-more seamless; but there is also a desire to ‘go back to basics’, which is manifesting in nature-based corporate retreats and the revival of ‘power lunches’.”
Southan added that the trends highlight both “the enduring value of human connection” in business, as well as the need for every journey to “justify the return on investment” and “carbon impact of flying”.
Globetrender noted that as pressure grows for companies to minimise outgoings and improve their sustainability, employees will face heavier demands to justify their work trips. Consequently, 2024 is expected to see business trips planned to fulfil more than one goal – a practice Globetrender calls “objective stacking”.
This practice will see more business travellers take more time to meet clients, forge deals, conduct analysis of competitors or investigate opportunities for expansion – rather than flying out and back for the sake of one meeting.
Executive field trips
More businesses are expected to book “strategic getaways” in 2024 – multi-day team-building trips offering a range of immersive experiences, aimed at building camaraderie between employees and boosting company loyalty.
The rise of the AIs
2024 is also expected to see greater implementation of generative artificial intelligence (gen AI) as part of the business travel experience. These AI tools will be capable of advising on itinerary options, providing a detailed trip brief, and offering guidance on company travel policy in natural language.
Globetrender forecasts the continued popularity of blended itineraries in 2024 – a concept also known as ‘bleisure’, where leisure travel experiences are added on to work trips.
This trend is getting more sophisticated, facilitated by automated systems that improve the flexibility of traveller itineraries.
Power networking is expected to emerge as a new trend this year – referring to a hyper-focused approach to acquiring and developing business connections. This includes a return to older practices such as the ‘power lunch’, where professional relationships are nurtured over meals.
Suzanne Sangiovese, Director of Travel and Technology at Riskline, spoke about how business travel is evolving in the February edition of ITIJ.