One of the biggest reasons why corporate travel is here to stay is because competition has driven airfares down. Business travel, and really all travel, explodes when the price of airline tickets goes down. This price drop is expected to continue well into the foreseeable future. International events have conspired to make corporate travel more attractive than ever before. Part of the great pricing has been spurred by Saudi Arabia and Iran trying to undercut the oil market now that the embargo against Iran has been lifted, sending oil prices plummeting. In addition to this, discoveries of additional shale oil reserves in Canada and the United States has led to greater energy independence in North America which has also helped to contribute to the dropping oil prices. Dropping oil prices typically go hand in hand with drop in airfare pricing.
This drop has led to the continued sustained growth of corporate travel. This is not the only reason for the growth of corporate travel, as another one is courtesy of different countries of the world developing bigger, better, and more efficient airport systems. As more planes, more airlines, and more airports come online, the capacity for more flights grows. As the law of supply and demand states, the greater supply there is, the cheaper the product will be. As airlines compete and airports compete for the business of world travel domination, travelers are the winners. There is no better place where this can be seen than in Dubai. Dubai has a world class airport and is currently expanding and creating another one. When that airport is done, the two airports will be able to shuttle an estimated 220 million travelers a year. This kind of growth in the physical infrastructure of travel is leading to some cheaper airfare which we are enjoying today.
The sharing economy
The sharing economy has also created an extensive industry of its own that has helped lead to the sustainability of corporate travel. The sharing economy is the idea that individuals through the medium of technology can share resources. Similar to a barter system, instead of only being able to find out about the biggest or best hotels or rental companies online, the sharing economy via technology allows you to be able to find individual homes and individual vehicles for you. This includes companies like Uber which has been dominating the taxi industry worldwide.
With the ability to have anyone within the Uber industry drive anyone anywhere at any time has reduced the need of being able to call ahead and it allows plans to be far more flexible. Of course you can schedule ahead with an Uber driver if you wish or you can just stand on the curb and contact the nearest driver directly. Gone are the days where you have to go through a taxi dispatcher to get a taxi to you, since you can contact with your driver directly. This freedom of movement is saving corporate travelers thousands of dollars a year and leads to greater flexibility when travel plans have to rapidly change.
This is not the only aspect of the sharing economy that is leading to the sustained growth of corporate travel. Another one is the availability of cheap housing and hotels. Companies like AirBnB allow for individual homes to be utilized as hotel rooms or places to stay. Often these homes are far more comforting than hotels are, and they also offer different types of amenities – things like having a full kitchen or a living room to walk around in can be a huge boon to weary corporate travelers. The power of the sharing economy is having a huge impact on travel and is likely to do so for years to come.
Corporate travel planners
This is the third great pillar of why corporate travel is here to stay and that is the increased efficiency of corporate travel planners. Corporate travel planners are either individuals who work for a given business or they are a company unto themselves but their job is to plan out the itinerary for business travel. This is a fantastic, thriving industry which helps to contribute not just to the proliferation of corporate travel but also to the proliferation of the sharing economy. Corporate travel planners help create the most efficient and economic routes for corporate travelers to take. By utilizing cheaper airfares as well as the sharing economy they help to introduce new trends in corporate travel.
Today a high-powered corporate traveler is just as likely to find himself sleeping in a mansion of an AirBnB host as he is to find himself in a 5-star hotel. With the sharing economy, you can often get more and pay less. Corporate travel planners are utilizing this intelligent new growth market to be able to save businesses significant sums of money. Every year, millions of dollars alone are spent just on renting vehicles or taxis, but now with things like Uber they are able to recoup losses through the shared economy. This is not the only way that corporate travel planners are helping to increase corporate travel. With the modernization of new capacity distribution being rolled out around the world, in 2016 corporate travel planners have greater access to information on individual airlines and fees than they have ever had before. This increased rate of access to information that can affect travel will be able to allow these corporate travel planners to save businesses potentially millions of dollars every year.
So between political motivations that led to a drop in world oil pricing, explosive growth of the new shared economy that lowered the pricing of travel and sleeping accommodations, and a modernization of the systems used to book these types of arrangements, everything about corporate travel is becoming easier and cheaper. The future for corporate travel will have cheaper pricing, better service, and an expansion of the industry that has never been seen before. Corporate travel will be around for years to come thanks to its affordability.