Your traveler's time is your most valuable commodity. The evolution of business travel and pandemic impacts is directedly connected to the future of your organization's scalability and post-pandemic success.

Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said, “The Only Constant in Life Is Change.” We may not be able to control change but we can control how we react to it. During the pandemic, companies had to change how they conducted business. For many, the primary change was to take their employees off the road and/or out of the office and place them at home. Yet, how would these individuals continue to work effectively and help grow the business without meeting with each other, their clients, and/or their current/potential partners? Simple solution – do it virtually.

Platforms such as Google Meet, Zoom, and Teams were already starting to gain traction pre-pandemic but once the world shut down, it was the primary way peers and partners communicated. Now that we are all figuring out our new normal and how we will work post-pandemic, we have grown accustomed to the virtual setting and often prefer it over face-to-face.

Is travel coming back?

Yes – Leisure more so than corporate. However, corporate travel may never return to the levels it once was because companies intuitively want to work smarter, not harder. Having employees work from home and not traveling for meetings increases utilization, efficiency, and optimization. However, for those that are traveling; convenience, efficiency, reliability, duty of care, and seamless flexibility are critical and often key factors in their willingness to travel.

Impacts, Trends & Forward Looking Insights

Business travelers

Pre-pandemic data projected global travel would amount to 1.7 trillion during 2022, but now it is projected for around 750 billion (This is a 5-year setback, with the target year now being 2025 for 1.5 trillion). Many factors contribute such as:

  • Travelers want new experiences ( i.e., accessibility, all-in-one, universal connectivity, safety, and reassurance)
  • Net 3-5 years the volumes are not trending to what is forecasted
  • Although an organization may travel less, expenses are higher than pre-pandemic due to inflation.
    • Demand is surging. COVID-19 surges always loom, employees get sick, and travel plans must be, above all else, flexible
    • Geopolitical and economic factors have resulted in concerns over resource availability, staffing issues, and increased demand for safety and security.

Technology & the Evolution of Payments

There is pressure on issuers to adapt and pivot b2b payments to evolve technologically and digitally from ACH payments to cards including virtual cards for wallets (Apple/Samsung Pay), and incidental payments that are typically claimed for later.

  • There’s increased pressure on cost control and managing travel budgets.
  • Virtual card payments are coming to the forefront – with the ability to pull down funds at POS or employ digital wallets when using virtual payment based services (i.e., uber/lyft)
  • Duty of care – there is focus on where our travelers are and how to ensure they have sufficient funds to manage pandemic care packages in the country, notwithstanding extended stays due to covid.
  • The emergence and adoption of digitally issued travel cards has been shown to help increase commercial bookings.

Take advantage of this time and entrust our experts to guide and help your organization progress forward on your post-pandemic journey.

Contact TCG to learn more.