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Travel program trends: Key insights from CTC Sydney Corporate Travel Summit 2023

In November, Corporate Travel Management (CTM) participated in the 2023 CTC Sydney Corporate Travel Summit in Australia. This annual event offers a dynamic platform for education and discussion within the constantly evolving travel industry, exploring the latest cutting-edge product innovations and travel program trends in corporate travel.

Notably, this year’s summit strongly emphasised sustainability, taking a deep dive into the various strategies travel management companies (TMCs) can implement to empower clients to elevate the sustainability of their travel program and reduce their carbon footprint. We spoke with our team, who attended to find out their key takeaways and insights from the event.

Environmental sustainability in travel

Environmental sustainability has become an increased focus for Travel Managers and Bookers, with results from the 2023 CTM Global Customer Survey revealing that over 50% of AU/NZ respondents actively or sometimes seek sustainable features or services when selecting an airline, hotel or car rental provider. This reflects an awareness and conscientious approach amongst customers, signifying a broader commitment to environmentally responsible travel decisions.

Sustainability is also a focus for business travellers, with industry studies showing 69% of travellers are actively seeking sustainable travel options and 75% have a desire to choose sustainable solutions in the future.

There is an increased demand from customers to have visibility of data demonstrating booking behaviour that may be impacting sustainable best practice such as the displaying carbon emissions during the booking process and at the point of sale. To empower travellers to make greener choices, TMCs must integrate information, such as the carbon emissions, into the booking process.

This ensures those booking travel can quickly identify the most sustainable flight, accommodation and car hire options. CTM already offers customers a range of sustainability solutions, including the ability to view and filter by carbon emissions when booking through the Lightning online booking tool and visibility of their travel program’s carbon footprint in CTM Data Hub. These solutions contributed to CTM winning the Sustainability Award – Business, at the 2023 National Travel Industry Awards.

Beyond the booking phase, there is also an emphasis on traveller education. Travel Managers and businesses are proactively exploring practical ways to educate and encourage their travellers to make sustainable choices whenever possible. The path to achieving sustainable business travel involves providing clear information and ensuring that travellers are well-informed and motivated to make environmentally conscious decisions.

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Innovation is in demand

Organisations are actively seeking cutting-edge technologies that not only enhance their travel program but are also cost-effective. When asked about their preferred booking platform for business trips in the 2023 CTM Global Customer Survey, 74% of CTM’s AU/NZ respondents preferred CTM Portal and 59% preferred to use online booking tools. With a noticeable shift towards digital-first interactions and an increasing demand for convenience and personalisation, TMCs can differentiate and enhance their customer experience by integrating AI technology into their online booking tools, such as CTM’s travel chatbot Scout. Scout streamlines and enhances the booking experience by enabling customers to easily book, change or cancel their travel, allowing Travel Consultants to focus more on complex travel needs.

As customers actively seek product innovation and differentiation, TMCs continually evolve their product offerings to stay at the forefront of emerging technologies. This adaptability ensures they remain in sync with the dynamic expectations of the modern business travel landscape.

Risk management remains a focus

Travel Managers remain focused on optimising risk management and improving duty of care in their travel programs. While risk assessment has been a crucial component of pre-trip approval workflows in many organisations, new technologies, precise data and streamlined processes empower Travel Managers to effectively assess and manage risks at every stage of their travellers’ journeys.

By utilising risk management technology, organisations can empower their Travel Managers to quickly identify travel risks, monitor, and communicate with their travellers, no matter where they are.

Travel forums like the CTC Sydney Corporate Travel Summit serve as a platform for travel industry professionals to come together, fostering collaboration and exploration of key focus areas and innovative solutions that are shaping the future of business travel. This year’s Summit demonstrated an emphasis on sustainability, innovation, and risk management, highlighting the evolving priorities in business and travel management. Leveraging the expertise of a TMC like CTM, businesses can effectively navigate the evolving travel landscape, benefiting from expert guidance and tailored solutions that elevate their travel programs.


Enjoyed learning about the travel program trends from the CTC Corporate Travel Summit 2023?

Find out how our expertise can help enhance your travel program and contact CTM today