Business travel trends in 2016

In 2015 we saw the business travel sector continue to change technologically, operationally and philosophically, and if this is anything to go by then 2016 looks to be an equally interesting year for business travel. Here are some of our predictions for the year ahead.

The term ‘Sharing Economy’ has been around for a while now and its popularity is set to continue in 2016. For those not familiar with this term, the sharing economy refers to individuals being able to distribute their surplus resources to each other, namely spare rooms, with services such as Airbnb proving popular. The reason for the rise in this trend is due to the ability to promote and share the availability of services through technology – those looking for accommodation and those able to provide it are able to reach out to each other through low cost web and mobile based platforms without large financial investment.

We’ve touched upon it above already and it’s no surprise that technology driven services are also increasing in popularity. The mid 1990’s saw sites like Expedia helping travellers to get a cheaper deal on their travel bookings by doing the leg work themselves and over the years we have seen similar movements in the business sector with website’s like TripBam and Cytere aiming to support travel managers with securing better rates, increasing compliance and managing bookings. With the increasing popularity of mobile browsing, it’s no surprise to hear that according to a report by Criteo, a third of travel bookings worldwide are being made on mobile devices. With this in mind, at Select Apartments we’ve made sure that our website is optimised for mobile browsing, the enquiry form is simple and we don’t bombard you with information, so you can quickly get answers to your questions.

Also on the rise is the demand for tailored solutions. The reasons for business travel are varied and as such the needs of business travellers are equally as diverse. With this in mind, a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach isn’t always feasible. If you need to stay for a 13 nights across 2 destinations, some websites can’t cope with non-standard requests. Our seventeen years’ experience has taught us that we need to offer a service that reflects business traveller’s needs and this is why we offer a consultant service, so that travellers or travel managers can ask all the questions they need and talk to a real person.

Joe Bates, Vice President of the Research and Strategic Initiative department at GBTA highlights that the last 2 years have seen a rise in ‘Bleisure’ Travel, where business travellers combine a few days of personal holiday time with a business trip. Some organisations offer this as a perk of the job and use it as part of an employee retention scheme. As we all know, business travel can impact on family life and any bonuses are welcome. A good work-life balance is a high priority and with a younger workforce travelling nowadays, these employees view business travel as a way to see the world. What better way to explore and get a feel for a destination than with your own apartment?

Hot destinations for 2016 as reported by the global travel price outlook from the GBTA predicts increased travel to and from destinations such as India, China, Singapore, Australia, Colombia and Mexico. In recognition of this we have just added apartments in Australia and also in Mexico. Unsurprisingly, one trend that we could have all predicted is a rise in costs, not only in hotel room rates but airfare’s too. The GBTA estimate that with travel from the UK in 2016 forecast to cost 0.8 per cent more than today, this could translate into an additional £18,000 extra travel spend where a company’s employees take 3,000 flights a year at a projected average rise of £6 per flight.

The modest rise in UK hotel prices reflects the global trend for increased room prices “as demand overtakes supply in every major global region.” According to the outlook report, Asia Pacific will see hotel prices rise by 3 per cent, led by Singapore, Japan and Australia. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, hotel prices will see a slightly more moderate 1.8 per cent increase, thanks in part to exchange rates with the U.S. dollar.

Bearing all these trends in mind, now is the time to consider renting an apartment for your next business trip. Speak to one of our consultants today about your travel plans and find out how easy it is to see the world with an apartment in 2016.