The Changing Landscape of Corporate Travel: Insights from the CVENT Travel Managers Report - European Edition
In the wake of the tumultuous journey through the COVID-19 pandemic, the corporate travel landscape in Europe is undergoing a transformation. The 2023 Cvent Travel Managers Report for Europe, conducted in collaboration with Censuswide, delves into the shifting priorities, concerns, and strategies of travel managers as they navigate the ever-evolving realm of business travel. The report sheds light on the new normal, where cost concerns, negotiation tactics, and sustainability considerations are taking centre stage. Cvent commissioned Censuswide, an independent research company, to survey 604 corporate travel decision-makers in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands, between 12th April and 26th April, 2023
Embracing the New Normal: Navigating Post-Pandemic Business Travel
Three years ago, the world was grappling with uncertainty surrounding the future of business travel. Today, corporate travel managers exude optimism as travel volume climbs back up, breathing life into face-to-face interactions and rekindling the essence of business travel. However, the landscape is far from ordinary as a range of challenges, from economic headwinds to climate change, now reshaping corporate travel sourcing across Europe.
While the spectre of COVID-19 still looms over travel decisions, it's noteworthy that the rising costs have emerged as the primary concern for travel managers. A whopping 65% of decision-makers cite escalating costs as their top consideration, overshadowing the 23% who continue to be affected by the pandemic. This shift in priorities underlines the pressing need for cost-effective solutions and collaborative approaches to tackle the new economic challenges.
Affordability at the Forefront: Creative Strategies for Budget Management
Rising costs have prompted corporate travel managers to adopt innovative strategies to stretch their budgets without compromising on quality. Anticipated budget increases are on the horizon, with 77% in the Netherlands and 73% in France expressing optimism. This surge in budget allocation is a positive sign for the industry, reflecting renewed confidence in the value of business travel.
To optimize their resources, travel managers are exploring diverse avenues. Integrating business travel with existing meetings and events is a favoured approach, with 40% of respondents endorsing this strategy. Furthermore, nearly a third are poised to negotiate for lower hotel room rates, even if it means sacrificing convenience. The dynamic nature of these tactics underscores the adaptability and resilience of travel managers in the face of evolving circumstances.
Navigating the Negotiation Maze: Insights into Hotel Discussions
Unveiling the intricacies of the travel sourcing and RFP process, the report reveals that cost negotiations with hotels remain a complex task for corporate travel managers. Over a third (37%) express difficulty in these negotiations, with France and Germany registering even higher figures at 40% and 42% respectively. Beyond costs, factors like proximity to company premises, flexibility of terms, and technological engagement play pivotal roles in shaping travel managers' decisions.
Technology as a Catalyst: Evolving Decision-Making Post-Pandemic
The pandemic has catalyzed a change in decision-making paradigms for corporate travel managers. In comparison to the pre-pandemic era, cost awareness has taken precedence, with 33% favouring flexible rate strategies and cost savings over traveller convenience. This shift is mirrored in the increased utilization of technology for hotel research, as 33% of respondents devote more time to using technology tools.
Business travel decision-makers seek a diverse range of information sources to plan their programs effectively. Hotel information, recommendations from peers, and a variety of online media platforms contribute to a well-rounded decision-making process. Sustainability has also emerged as a key consideration, with nearly a third of respondents valuing sustainability initiatives during the sourcing process.
Optimism Amid Uncertainty: The Future of Corporate Travel
Despite the myriad challenges posed by rising costs and lingering pandemic effects, a resounding 80% of respondents hold a positive outlook for the current state of business travel. This optimism is especially pronounced in Italy, where 92% of travel managers are bullish about the prospects. Amid this positivity, there is an expectation of increased travel volume, with 64% anticipating growth in 2023.
Yet, a degree of caution remains, with 31% of respondents believing that travel volumes may never fully return to pre-pandemic levels. A blend of global and regional sourcing strategies reflects a nuanced approach to travel planning, wherein 51% of managers source globally, while 24% restrict their search to Europe only.
In conclusion, the 2023 Cvent Travel Managers Report for Europe paints a vivid picture of a corporate travel landscape in flux. As the business world adapts to new economic realities and navigates through a post-pandemic environment, cost efficiency, negotiation prowess, and sustainability considerations emerge as the guiding lights for travel managers. With technological tools at their disposal and unwavering optimism in their hearts, travel managers are leading the charge in redefining the future of corporate travel in Europe.
CVENT Travel Manager Report 2023 meaning for the Polish MICE industry
What does it mean for the Polish MICE industry in the near future? The insights gleaned from the Cvent Travel Manager Report - European Edition hold significant implications for Poland's corporate travel landscape, particularly in the domains of event organization, incentive travel, and business trips. As Poland adjusts to the evolving paradigms of corporate travel, a range of effects and opportunities are poised to shape the industry within the country.
Event Organization in Poland: Meeting the New Normal
For event organizers in Poland, the changing corporate travel landscape signifies a need for adaptability and creativity. The increased emphasis on cost concerns and the integration of business travel with meetings and events aligns well with the approach of crafting multifunctional gatherings. With 40% of travel managers emphasizing the amalgamation of travel and events, the trend can find resonance in Poland's event industry.
This shift could lead to the creation of hybrid events that seamlessly combine in-person attendance with virtual participation, allowing both domestic and international delegates to engage. Moreover, incorporating sustainability initiatives and technological enhancements, as highlighted in the report, could not only cater to travel managers' preferences but also align with the global call for more responsible event practices.
Incentive Travel: Tailoring Experiences for Affordability
As businesses in Poland seek to manage escalating costs while maintaining meaningful employee incentives, the findings of the report offer valuable insights. The focus on affordability necessitates reimagining incentive travel experiences. Crafting experiences that align with creative budget strategies, such as combining business travel with incentive trips, can offer a win-win solution. This approach can ensure that employees are rewarded while also contributing to the company's financial goals.
Furthermore, considering the rising significance of sustainability, incorporating eco-friendly elements into incentive trips can resonate well with travel managers who view sustainability as a pivotal factor in decision-making. Poland's picturesque landscapes and cultural richness provide ample opportunities for designing unique, sustainable incentive travel experiences that capture the essence of the country while adhering to budgetary constraints.
Business Trips to Poland: Navigating Cost Considerations
For Poland, as with the rest of Europe, cost considerations are gaining prominence in the planning of business trips. Travel managers aiming to optimize budgets and seek the best rates could find Poland's diverse travel offerings appealing. Negotiating lower hotel room rates, even if it means some trade-offs in convenience, can resonate well with Poland's emerging status as a sought-after business travel destination.
Poland's cities offer a blend of modern infrastructure and historical charm, presenting an array of options for accommodating cost-effective yet enriching business travel experiences. Moreover, Poland's connectivity within Europe and its increasing prominence as a business hub make it an attractive choice for organizations looking to balance costs and opportunities for networking and growth.
Technology Integration and Sustainable Practices: Poland's Opportunity
The report underscores the role of technology in influencing travel decisions and the growing focus on sustainability. Poland's hospitality and event industries have an opportunity to align with these trends. Integrating technology in event management, accommodation bookings, and travel planning can streamline processes, enhance guest experiences, and resonate with tech-savvy travel managers.
Simultaneously, Poland's commitment to sustainability can be showcased through eco-friendly practices in hotels, venues, and event planning. Highlighting sustainable initiatives and offering greener options can position Poland as a conscientious host for events, incentive travel, and business trips, aligning with the values of environmentally conscious travel managers.
In conclusion, the insights from the Cvent Travel Managers Report - European Edition reverberate across Poland's corporate travel landscape. Event organizers, incentive travel planners, and business trip facilitators have an opportunity to tailor their offerings to meet the evolving preferences of travel managers. By combining affordability, creativity, technology, and sustainability, Poland can position itself as a vibrant and responsible destination for corporate travel in the changing times ahead.
- Influential Factors in Booking Decisions: Beyond costs, considerations such as proximity to company premises (37%), flexibility of terms (35%), ease of accessibility, and venue familiarity (both 26%) wield substantial influence over travel managers' hotel and venue booking choices.
- Technology and Quick Responses: Travel decision-makers prioritize hotels demonstrating effective technology usage during the RFP process. Utilizing technological tools for streamlined communication and real-time collaboration aids time-strapped teams, enhancing lead qualification and buyer-supplier relationships.
- Sustainability's Growing Impact: 26% of business travel managers anticipate heightened emphasis on sustainability influencing their priorities over the next two years. Nearly one-third (29%) of respondents actively seek content related to sustainability initiatives during the hotel and venue sourcing process.
- Tech-Driven Changes in Sourcing: Since 2019, 33% of respondents have increased their reliance on technology for hotel research. Properties aiming to stand out during sourcing should maximize visibility on venue sourcing platforms. Venue teams should enhance online profiles with comprehensive information to minimize ad-hoc queries and maximize high-quality leads.
- Global vs. Regional Sourcing: Just over half (51%) of respondents engage in global hotel and venue sourcing. Notably, a significant segment limits their search to Europe only (24%) or domestic locations exclusively (24%).
Source: based on CVENT Travel Manager Report - European edition 2023
According to the Poland Meeting and Event Planning Guide on CVENT, the country is considered a top player in the European market for meetings, incentives, conferences, and events (MICE). MICE-focused cities like Kraków, Warsaw, Wrocław, Poznań and Gdańsk feature flexible venues and the latest technology facilities. With an array of cultural and sports facilities, Poland also offers unique museums, historic castles, and unique venues to enhance the business event experience. Find out more.
What is CVENT?
Cvent is a global technology company that specializes in event management, meetings, and hospitality solutions. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools and platforms that help businesses and organizations plan, manage, and execute various types of events, ranging from small meetings to large conferences and conventions. The company has established itself as a prominent player in the event management and hospitality technology space, serving clients across various industries, including corporations, associations, universities, and more. Find out more.