Corporate travel planners optimistic about 2023: Cvent report

Cvent reports reveal significant levels of optimism amongst corporate travel managers

Some 82 per cent of respondents expect corporate travel volumes at their organisation to increase in 2023 relative to 2019 in MEA, it was revealed in the latest instalment of the Cvent Travel Manager Report, which provides in-depth insights into current corporate travel trends and activity. This is followed by 75 per cent in Australia and 74 per cent in Asia. 

Cvent, a market-leading meetings, events, travel and hospitality technology provider, published regional editions of the report with localised data sourced from hundreds of corporate travel decision makers.

Collectively, the reports reveal significant levels of optimism amongst corporate travel managers and highlight the pivotal role technology will play in the corporate travel sourcing process. 

In addition, the report shows the increasing impact sustainability has on choice of venue, highlighting the critical importance of hotels to showcase not just their unique facilities and points of difference, but their sustainability efforts and initiatives to better attract todays’ corporate travel buyers. The findings also reveal that organisations in Asia and Australia will witness an increase in travel to Asia and Europe. For corporate travel decision-makers in MEA, the regions where travel managers are most likely to increase travel volumes for their organisation are to the Middle East/Africa (61 per cent), and Asia (47 per cent). 

Graham Pope, Cvent Vice President of International Sales, said: “The results in this report illustrate that because corporate travel momentum has continued to grow and needs have evolved, hotels must understand their buyers’ decision-making processes, preferences and budget expectations to attract them to their properties and stay ahead of the competition. The travel resurgence has also manifested higher expectations from the clients, with sustainability at the top of the list. With many hotels operating with smaller teams than pre-pandemic, this report offers critical insight into where hospitality professionals can focus their efforts and leverage technology to work more efficiently and maximise impact.”

Additionally, the report reveals that 82 per cent in MEA say their interest in dual and dynamic rates has increased for the 2023 RFP season. To win business in 2023, hotels must understand their potential customers’ rate strategy and expectations and establishing a willingness to engage and offer dual and dynamic rates offers venues the opportunity to also award discounts for loyalty, and flex prices depending on demand and availability.

Trip prioritisation and sourcing needs have evolved: With budgets under pressure due to rising costs, travel managers are increasingly asking whether trips are truly necessary, and how each one fits into a new formula of cost versus value. Almost half (46 per cent) of travel managers in Australia followed by 45 per cent in Asia and 42 per cent in MEA, are taking this approach. Once the trip is approved, travel managers rigorously compare hotels on a shifting set of priorities including cost savings, rate flexibility and sustainability.

Another finding shows rising costs spur budget increases. Approximately 80 per cent across Australia, MEA, and Asia say their travel budgets will rise in 2023. Cvent commissioned Censuswide, an independent research company, to survey 250 corporate travel decision-makers   in   Singapore, China, Japan, Thailand  and   India,  and   100   in Australia, 150 from UAE, Saudi Arabia, South Africa in November last year.