The long-range Global Business Travel Market 2017-2021 report from Technavio anticipates that business travel will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 5.1 per cent over the next five years.
The report cited three main drivers for future business-travel growth: technological advances, digitalization of travel payments, and availability of business services in hotels.
Advances in artificial intelligence, for example, have helped automate business-travel bookings, while virtual payment methods allow business travellers to bill employers for rooms, meals and other expenses without the need for a credit card, according to Technavio researchers.
Increasingly available free services offered by hotels go well beyond wifi, according to Ujjwal Doshi, a lead analyst at Technavio for media and entertainment services research.
“In addition, hotels are equipped with conference halls and meeting rooms that enable business travellers to hold meetings within the hotel and reduce the travel in the city,” he said.
“Some hotel rooms are also equipped with electronic devices that give travellers the liberty to carry out teleconferencing and video conferencing in the hotel rooms.”
The report breaks down business travel into four main segments — marketing, trade shows, internal meeting and product launch — and includes discussions about the major business travel vendors in the market.
Rising terrorist activities was cited as the main challenge to continued business travel growth.