H1: Booking Technology
New and Improved
The quality of corporate booking platforms has long been a frustration for both buyers and travelers, but new upgrades and players in the market are changing the game. Major players like Concur and Travelport are launching major upgrades to their online booking tools, with a focus on improving the user experience and integrating new technology. Additionally, newcomers like Travelin.ai and Zenmer are bringing fresh perspective to the market, with innovative new platforms designed to meet the evolving needs of corporate travelers. With AI playing a role in shaping the future of booking technology, 2024 promises to be a year of major progress and advancement in the market.
H2: Sustainability Reporting
Compliance is Key
2024 marks a significant year for sustainability reporting, with the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) set to come into effect. This directive includes over 1,000 data points, with a specific focus on business travel emissions. Companies within the EU, as well as those with significant operations in the EU, will need to comply with the reporting requirements, presenting both challenges and opportunities for businesses. However, the EU is expected to exercise leniency in the initial years of implementation, providing companies with some flexibility as they adapt to the new reporting framework.
H3: The Year of Elections
Policy Shifts Ahead
2024 will be a pivotal year for elections across the world, with over 60 countries going to the polls. In Europe, the European Parliament elections could have a significant impact on key pieces of legislation affecting the corporate travel industry. The outcome of these elections will shape the trajectory of EU policy, with potential implications for initiatives such as CountEmissionsEU and the Multimodal Digital Mobility Services (MDMS). Additionally, the looming UK general election adds further complexity to the political landscape, with potential implications for corporate travel in the region.
H4: Environmental Policy
The year ahead holds significant uncertainty around environmental policy, with questions surrounding government attempts to restrict air travel on environmental grounds. Initiatives such as the Dutch government’s proposed capacity reduction at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport and France’s ban on short-haul domestic routes underscore the shifting landscape of environmental policy in the aviation industry. With the debate around the planned third runway at London Heathrow also in focus, 2024 promises to bring further clarity on the future of environmental policy in the region.
H5: Greenwashing Backlash
Striving for Transparency
As travel suppliers strive to reduce their environmental impact, there is growing scrutiny on their claims and practices, with concerns around ‘greenwashing’ becoming increasingly prevalent. Legal challenges and complaints have emerged against airlines and travel companies, highlighting the need for greater transparency in environmental claims. With European legislation aimed at cracking down on greenwashing on the horizon, 2024 is likely to see continued scrutiny and legal wrangling in this area.
In 2023, there were positive strides towards making business travel more accessible and inclusive for all travelers. Efforts to address the needs of neurodiverse travelers and improve accessibility for individuals with physical impairments were at the forefront, signaling a shift towards greater inclusivity in corporate travel programs. With companies and organizations championing inclusivity and driving positive change, 2024 promises to be a year of continued progress in this area.
H7: The Race for SMEs
The post-pandemic period has sparked a realization among small and medium-sized organizations of the advantages of managed travel, leading to a shift away from DIY approaches to travel bookings. Major TMCs and travel suppliers are increasingly targeting the SME market, with new programs and initiatives designed to cater to the needs of smaller businesses. The competition in this space is heating up, with TMCs and suppliers vying for market share and seeking to capitalize on the growing demand for managed travel solutions among SMEs.