Dwellworks Living Global Corporate Housing Solutions - Main Ave Luxembourg

2022 Travel Trends

Off to a Good Start

Industry executives across the travel industry are optimistic about 2022, building on positive results in the fourth quarter of 2021.  A brief roundup of trends from industry research sources includes the assessments of CEOs from major airlines and credit card companies.  United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby is firmly in the camp of ‘up and to the right’, while British Airways CEO Sean Doyle shared an equally positive assessment, tied to the relaxation of UK travel restrictions in November 2021.  “It was quicker than we expected,” Doyle said. “We saw a massive recovery, and week by week, the corporate segment grew by about eight [percentage] points.” 

Skift.com who published these interviews, also captured the comments of leaders of the world’s largest credit card companies. All three financial services companies saw lift in their 2021 fourth quarter numbers, versus 2020.  That not so surprising result was amplified by the fact that revenues are also fast approaching 2019 numbers.   And that’s the general theme: business travel is back, at variable rates of recovery, based on the travel and health policies of individual countries and companies, but definitely on the upswing.


Pandemic to Endemic?    

The rate at which COVID-19 recedes is clearly the number one driver to a sustained recovery, in travel and all other aspects of business and daily life. As of our publication date, many countries in Europe (the UK, France, and the Nordics, for example) had greatly reduced their travel restrictions, in some cases eliminating tests and in almost all instances eliminating quarantines. Vaccination passports remain common practice.   

Expressing optimism on the timeline and voicing the general expectation of a world that wants to be ‘done’ with COVID-19, Spain has begun to explore the public health measures associated with an endemic (recurring and expected) disease, versus the catastrophe of a pandemic.  This trend towards a more routine and predictable state of public health response is the foundation for sustained, positive trends in travel for the balance of the year. 


Controls and Compliance 

As the national restrictions for travel loosen, a sharpened corporate focus on compliance is coming into view.  Skift defined this as one of its Mega Trends for travel in 2022: “Corporate Travel is Now in the Firm Grip of the CFO.”  Companies have learned a great deal during the pandemic, and travel tech and FinTech companies have been busy creating ever more sophisticated apps for tracking spend and managing risk relative to issues like permanent establishment and shadow payroll.  CFOs have a fiduciary duty to not just mind the finances of a company, but to manage overall risk, which includes safe and careful travel policies for large public companies. Trend watchers see a mindset for ‘measuring twice and cutting once’ when it comes to approving a large-scale return to travel among large employers. 

CEOs, salespeople, account managers, and project leaders are all eager to get on the road and connect with clients and industry colleagues, but will need to prove the value to the business of any sharp upswing in costs.  If companies experienced steady financial results during the pandemic, the CFO logic goes, “why rush back to the cost of travel?”  The counter argument of course is, ‘think of how much more we can accomplish if we can re-engage completely.” And so the discussions will be framed.  Ultimately, businesses want to be connected with their customers and no one expects the end of travel.  The reboot of post-pandemic travel is tied to the size and scale of the company’s controls.


Supercharged Sustainability

And speaking of controls, sustainability has moved to a top consideration in travel. It’s a health issue, a cost issue, a corporate/public policy issue, a compliance issue, and a powerful consumer/business traveler choice issue.  A recent industry survey confirmed that 71% of travelers, given the choice, will choose a greener option in hospitality.  Accommodations contribute to about 9% of the travel sector’s total global carbon footprint. (Air travel is the largest emissions source, which is why companies are looking at fewer flights and potentially longer stays for their travelers.)  Company policies are being reviewed, and ever more specific questions are being asked of travel service providers. As a recent industry analyst noted in her survey review, “Sustainability is an RFI question, not an RFP question,” meaning, it’s a qualifier in round one and suppliers must have defined carbon-footprint reduction programs if they are to be seriously considered by large, public companies. 


Business Travel, Leisure Expectations

Perhaps the most significant trend of all is the long-lasting impact of the pandemic.  It’s not Long Haul Covid, it’s long-haul hybrid: the abiding impacts of work from home, work from anywhere, and blended business-leisure travel. Going forward, employers are more consciously inclusive and responsive to a wider range of workforce diversity needs. Within a few points’ variation, all recent surveys indicate 70%+ of the US corporate workforce would prefer ongoing flexibility in work arrangements.  

Travelers who travel to their offices for an extended stay are looking for more homelike-accommodations.  Hotel chains and investors are getting into the longer-stay business at a record pace, and the operators who are already experts at providing solutions for temporary accommodations, like our Dwellworks Living suppliers, are responding to new requests for comfort, convenience, connection, and compliance. The fastest growing request is for pet-friendly accommodations, followed by lodgings with 3-4 bedrooms and business quality internet, because a traveler may work both at their company’s office or in proximity to it, but will not expect to be on-site full time. The dizzying growth in extended stay accommodations needs is reflected in our own experience, where we saw requests for corporate housing at the end of 2021 come close to 2019 volume, and surge past 2020 by a phenomenal 300%.


What to Expect? How to Respond?

Expect a busy year.  Companies are evaluating their options, and large companies are carefully planning their spend and duty of care risks. With travel restrictions lifting, business travel and workforce mobility will continue to pick up. We’re ready for the comeback volume and look forward to being part of the solution in a world of new expectations. Contact us to learn more. 


Dwellworks Living: Global Solutions for Corporate Accommodations 

Dwellworks Living is committed to providing our clients and their employees with the best possible corporate housing and serviced accommodations experience. With a global network of property partners, a tri-regional team of customer experience and supply chain professionals, and a wide range of services for global mobility and travel customers, Dwellworks Living can provide the perfect corporate housing solution for any need or budget.

Dwellworks Living is the global corporate housing solution of Dwellworks, an award-winning, business-to-business provider of global mobility and business travel services. As a global leader in corporate housing and serviced accommodations solutions, Dwellworks Living is uniquely positioned to meet the temporary living needs of businesses and their employees who are relocating or traveling on short-, medium- or extended-stays. With 60,000 high-quality professionally managed properties in over 125 countries worldwide, Dwellworks Living is the preferred housing solutions partner of many Fortune 1000 and leading relocation management companies.

Dwellworks Living's corporate housing and serviced accommodations solutions are designed to help businesses attract and retain top talent, support employee productivity, and ensure a smooth and successful relocation or business travel experience. In addition to our core global accommodations management services, Dwellworks Living, through our worldwide network of local experts, is uniquely capable of offering our clients expanded and related services, such as area orientations, group move assistance, destination services and intercultural training.

Whether you have corporate housing needs for an individual employee or a large team, Dwellworks Living can provide the serviced accommodations solutions you need anywhere in the world to ensure a safe and successful stay. Please contact us to learn more or visit our Properties page to begin your search for global corporate housing accommodations.

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