The Future of Global Business Travel: GBTA Dallas 2023 Insights

That’s a wrap y’all! As we’ve settled back home after an insightful, fun and scorching few days at GBTA Dallas, we can’t help but reflect on just how proud we are to be part of such a flourishing and resilient industry. 

During the course of the three days, our industry came together to connect and engage in a dynamic exchange of ideas where expertise, innovation and education combined to produce a glimpse into the future of global business travel.  

Join us as we dive into our key takeaways from this transformative week of discussions, workshops and keynote sessions, as we re-live just one more time what was a convention we certainly won’t forget in a hurry. 

The Future’s Looking Bright—Because Business Travel is Expected to Achieve Full Recovery By 2024 

Following years of post-pandemic turbulence, GBTA shared their optimistic projections of a much-anticipated, full rebound in business travel by 2024, fueled by an array of shifts in market forces. And it’s no surprise considering 82% of business travelers find business travel worthwhile in achieving their business objectives, as stated in GBTA’s Business Travel Index Outlook Report in collaboration with Visa.  

Regional disparities in growth were spotlighted however, with Western Europe emerging as the fastest-growing region in 2022; North America and Latin America experiencing significant spending increases; but, regions like Asia-Pacific encountering challenges due to China's delayed reopening impacting growth. 

In Light of This, Business Travel Spending Is Expected to Hit $1.8 Trillion by 2027 

During the convention, it was also announced that with recovered business travel, comes an accelerated rebound in business travel spending. Through their Business Travel Index Outlook Report, GBTA and Visa shared their anticipated growth of 32% in expenditures for 2023 which is expected to reach 2019 levels by 2024—a faster rebound than initially projected. 

The revival was attributed to the return of in-person meetings and events, as well as the gradual resumption of international business travel. 

Sustainability Continued to Dominate the Conversation  

Environmental sustainability was a key topic of discussion throughout the convention, with attendees encouraged to become “courageous leaders” of the future of sustainable travel. Just a few takeaways include:  

Navigating Net-Zero

The emergence of carbon budgets—as a powerful tool in the journey towards achieving net-zero emissions. This concept involves setting a cap on the total amount of carbon emissions an organization can produce within a specific timeframe, providing a clear and tangible target for organizations to work forwards.  

Shaping Sustainable Business

The implementation of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive—as a legal requirement for smaller and medium-sized companies to report on sustainability from 2023. The aim of this initiative is to promote transparency and provide organizations with insight and guidance.   

Changing traveler demographics—such as Generation X, who add up to a significant chunk of the workforce (30%) and are much more sustainability conscious. Such demographics are actively choosing to work for companies which promote sustainability, in addition to choosing more sustainable travel and accommodation options, like serviced apartments.  

Empowering Sustainability

The importance of data—in tracking progress and informing long-term decisions. Emerging tools to support the collection and sharing of sustainability data include online booking tools and expense management tools like Concur.  

The Sheer Value of Embracing a Comprehensive DEI&A Strategy Mustn’t Be Underestimated

Countless topics associated with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) took center stage at the convention, covering everything from LGBTQ-specific risk considerations, helping women to find a voice at work and the role of DE&I in fostering a culture of acceptance and wellbeing.  

During an ESG specific panel, speakers dived into how sustainability and DE&I is positioned across different organizations, discussing the importance of implementing such initiatives.  

The Power of Human Connection is Second to None  

The value of business travel in eliminating bias was echoed by Chris Bashinelli’s inspiring speech which emphasized the power of travel in promoting the power of human connection, cultural understanding and breaking down prejudices.  

Chris drew from his personal experiences from over 40 countries, detailing the importance of travel in fostering open-mindedness. Chris’s insights complimented Mark Twain’s sentiment that travel is essential for broadening perspectives and dismantling narrow-mindedness. 

A Transformative Week

It was a jam-packed and very successful week to say the least. The conference underscored the significance of business travel, highlighted the continuously evolving nature of the industry in which we operate and continued to push important topics such as DE&I and sustainability front and center. As always, GBTA provided a comprehensive overview of the state of our industry, providing all the tips and tricks needed to successfully navigate the changes and challenges that come our way.  

These insightful few days have proven invaluable to Synergy as we connected with our network, dived into the industry’s pain points and came home with some game-changing takeaways to consider as we continue to push the boundaries for our clients.  

How Synergy Can Support Your Travel Program 

At Synergy, we specialize in managing the end-to-end management of serviced accommodation programs, wherever in the world you need to be, and for however long. Our goal is to make it easy for you to achieve your business travel objectives through the delivery of a cost-effective serviced accommodation solution which complements your overall business travel objectives. 

  • Consultative, end-to-end program management which targets your specific business travel goals 
  • Access to over 800,000+ fully vetted serviced apartments, spanning 85+ countries and 2,000 cities 
  • Access to award-winning, high touch service teams who go above and beyond to deliver your business travel objectives 
  • A consistent guest experience no matter where in the world your travelers head 
  • Innovative and flexible corporate housing solutions to meet the ever-evolving requirements of the modern day business traveler 

Ready to learn more about how Synergy can enhance your travel program? Tell us what you need and our local teams will be happy to support you. 

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