The fu­ture of busi­ness travel

Travel Daily - - News - with Nick White­head

IN A post-pan­demic world, the rate of re­turn to busi­ness travel will vary greatly by re­gion and type of trip (i.e. do­mes­tic, re­gional, long-haul in­ter­na­tional) and no­body can say with a great deal of cer­tainty what vol­umes will look like.

What is more cer­tain, how­ever, is that as busi­ness travel re­sumes then cost, risk and change man­age­ment are likely to emerge as top of mind pri­or­i­ties for ev­ery or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Cost man­age­ment will be im­por­tant be­cause most or­gan­i­sa­tions will be re­turn­ing from a near zero dol­lar spend on travel, and each trip and each dol­lar pro­posed to be spent will be re­viewed with a greater level of scru­tiny than be­fore.

Risk man­age­ment will be key to en­sure trav­eller well­be­ing is cer­tain and that duty of care obli­ga­tions are be­ing met and this is at the core of the must-haves to en­able the re­turn to the skies for cor­po­rate trav­ellers. Change man­age­ment will be crit­i­cal, not just to sup­port an or­gan­i­sa­tions’ trav­ellers as they nav­i­gate a much more un­pre­dictable land­scape of dis­rup­tions, but also to en­sure that credits are ef­fec­tively tracked and utilised.

Un­der­pin­ning these re­quire­ments is a pre-req­ui­site for cor­po­rate travel to be booked through a man­aged sales chan­nel. Flights or ho­tels booked di­rectly on air­line or sup­plier web­sites make it nearim­pos­si­ble for the or­gan­i­sa­tion to ef­fec­tively ad­dress the im­per­a­tives of cost, risk or change man­age­ment.

A trav­eller­centric travel pro­gram is now a musthave, and tech­nol­ogy can be the cat­a­lyst to bring more spend into the man­aged chan­nel, driv­ing adop­tion and en­sur­ing com­pli­ance through seam­less pol­icy ap­pli­ca­tion at point of pur­chase.

The world of busi­ness travel has changed, and now is the time for travel man­agers to as­sess the role of tech­nol­ogy in sup­port­ing a safe and ef­fec­tive re­turn to travel.

** Opin­ions ex­pressed are those of the author. Com­ments are wel­come, cor­po­rat­e­chat­ter@trav­el­

Risk man­age­ment will be key to en­sure trav­eller well­be­ing is cer­tain and that duty of care obli­ga­tions are be­ing met

Nick White­head is the Chief Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer for Serko, lead­ing the mar­ket en­gage­ment to align Zeno, Serko’s next gen­er­a­tion travel and ex­pense plat­form, with the evolv­ing needs of cor­po­rate travel man­agers and their trav­ellers. Find out more at

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