- The Covid-19 pandemic had devastating effects on the travel industry.
- As the industry recovers new travel trends are emerging.
- With hybrid and remote work setups increasing, travelling for work is seeing a significant spike.
The past three years have been characterised by a global pandemic accompanied by extensive lockdowns and travel restrictions. Among the many industries impacted, travel and tourism was perhaps the hardest hit.
While there are still many challenges to overcome, the industry has shown promising signs of recovery, providing those in the hospitality industry with a real sense of optimism as they begin to progress into a new era of travel.
Globally, there is a clear shift in the behaviours of travellers but what does this mean for the travel landscape in 2023?
It goes without saying that the pandemic has changed the nature of the working world, with the remote and hybrid working models having become the new normal and in many cases form part of the criteria for employees when selecting their next employer.
Out of this came the fear that remote work meant business travel would never recover to pre-pandemic levels.
However, with the increased uptake of vaccinations and the easing of travel restrictions, the demand for business travel returned in 2022 as many companies looked to re-instil human connections, reconnect teams, and attend conferences.
According to Expedia Group's Traveler Value Index 2023, approximately 32% of individuals are planning to take a business trip in the next 12 months, including 62% of remote workers.
Moreover, 85% of business travelers said they are excited to travel for work, with millennials (45%) and Gen Zs (40%) being the most likely to be traveling for work this year.
Additionally, remote and hybrid work has given rise to the digital nomad and blurred the lines between work and play.
“What this means for hoteliers is an increase in the demand for flexible stays, which often come with shorter booking lead times,” says Tim Cordon, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East & Africa, Radisson Hotel Group.
“To respond to this, it is important that our businesses remain agile,” he added.
Whether employees are extending their scheduled business trips, opting for a workcation or planning a “hush” trip there has been and will continue to be a significant rise in flexible trips driven by remote workers.
“As business travel begins to pick back up, the reasons for trips are varied,” Cordon notes.
“From connecting with customers, to attending industry events, on-site visits, internal team meetings to more alternative business travel options, such as workcations and hush trips, business travelers have proven to be our most resilient customer base,” Cordon added.
“While classic business travel has always presented a strong opportunity for the industry, alternative business travel presents a new layer of growth in 2023 as it holds promise to increase mid-week occupancy level as travelers look to get in some leisure time while they work from a new location.”