The Future of Corporate Travel
Contrary to the bleak outlook of some regarding the future of corporate travel after CoVid-19, people are travelling sooner and more often than predicted. And with more than 600 multinational companies headquartered in Sydney, both domestic and corporate travel to Sydney is recovering faster than expected.
Since March 2020, Australia has implemented some of the most stringent restrictions by closing state and international borders, effectively halting travel. This led to many employees working remotely from their homes, with digital technologies providing a viable avenue for remote meetings and conferences. In February 2022, borders officially reopened after two years, reinstating the possibility of tourism and business travel. However, how important is business travel now?
In this article we’ll look at developments in the corporate travel sector, share what’s happening in Sydney, and discover why Business Class is considered “the new black”.
Business Travel Spending
Broadly, business travel budgets are expected to increase1 during 2023, although CWT Chief Customer Officer Nick Voumakis noted that a year over year comparison on pre-pandemic levels of spending is unlikely until 2024.
Yet particularly within Australia the business travel sector has recovered quickly, with the Flight Centre Travel Group reporting levels at approximately 80% of pre-pandemic numbers.
Competition in the domestic travel market is driving down costs, while international flights will remain costly until some carriers resume operations. Early next year, capacity for both hotels and car rentals is expected to increase.
Corporate travellers are encouraged to book their flights well ahead of time, as the airline industry also balances an uptick in the number of leisure travellers who are booking business and first-class seats. Dubbed “Business Class is the new black”, even leisure travellers are looking for a premium experience when they fly.
“Before 2019, corporate travel was typically booked two to three weeks before departure but the need to plan and book in advance to secure seats is now being recognised and we’re seeing a shift to early booking behaviours,” said Emirates divisional vice-president Australasia Barry Brown9.
Trade Shows, Meetings and Conferences
Business travel for events such as trade shows, meetings and conferences is also regaining momentum.
Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Micheal Johnson said of Sydney: “There are 31 large events booked in this year and then another 41 locked in for 2023 – 16 of those events will have more than 1,000 delegates and seven will have over 2,000 delegates.”
CEO of Sydney’s International Convention Centre, Geoff Donaghy, confirmed domestic conference attendance has returned to 2019 levels, and that international interest is growing3.
Networking events and B2B conferences have increased international business travel to Australia. These events indicate the increasing complexity of business functions, which often necessitate in-person collaboration, gatherings, and seminars. World-renowned events such as AIME and ACSI draw delegates from large and small enterprises from all corners of the globe, helping to bolster Australia’s standing in the travel sector.
Such events also offer a prime opportunity to network with other professionals within the same industry, thus expanding one’s business contacts and opportunities. Business travellers benefit significantly from attending events that cater to their particular professional sphere, where they can gain valuable insights and make invaluable connections.
And with the return of the International Convention Centre Sydney’s Event Calendar, Event Crowd Managing Director Cameron Just reports “… an enthusiastic and confident return to face to face events. Our Sydney event has set a high benchmark for safe and engaging exhibition delivery and we look forward to creating more opportunities for brands and consumers to connect in the coming months.”5
While the prices of international corporate travel are soaring, the demand for both domestic and international corporate travel “is skyrocketing” according to FCM Consulting6.
“Restrictions on corporate travel are being lifted, so we saw this sector pick up over the past two quarters,” says Etihad Airways’ Area General Manager, Sarah Built9.
Corporate travellers are staying for longer, compared with data from 20198, and often extending their stay into the weekend so that they can blend a mix of work and leisure, and take advantage of the Sydney lifestyle. And it’s no wonder, with proximity to gorgeous beaches, an array of entertainment options, and plenty of locations for that ‘Instagram’ moment.
While people welcome the opportunity to travel for in-person meetings (Zoom’s great, but sometimes it’s more effective to make decisions face to face), environmental sustainability considerations are playing a greater role in how often in-person meetings take place2. Inflation and high-energy prices are weighing on corporate budgets, so when the decision is made to meet in person, many decision makers are putting a greater emphasis on value for money as they choose accommodation.
This is evidenced in the newly-redesigned SkyTeam Sydney lounge located at Sydney International Airport’s terminal, where an emphasis on sustainable travel for in-person meetings pervades every aspect, from design, to water saving implementations, to the menu.
Whether it’s short-stay accommodation for a quick board meeting, or long-stay business accommodation for the period of a contract, Studio 8 Residences at Top Ryde has consistently served the business and government sectors in providing high-quality accommodation in Sydney at a value-for-money price.
“I stayed at Studio 8 for 5 months while working on a contract in Sydney. It was my home away from home.” – David C
For those who need space to meet in a small group, an on-site board room is available for up to eight people. With a TV (laptop and connections provided), a whiteboard, free Wi-Fi, hot beverages and bottled water, facilitating in-person meetings is simple.
Travelling for business
While it’s more accessible than ever to work from anywhere, meeting in-person for business remains a highly effective way to get things done. Airlines and accommodation providers alike are catering to sustainability initiatives that have become a greater priority for corporate travel, and the future of corporate travel looks extremely healthy.
Are you Looking for a Corporate Travel Accommodation Company ?
When choosing corporate travel accommodation in Sydney, consider Studio 8 Residences.
Studio 8 Residences are located conveniently at Top Ryde, close to Sydney’s CBD and only 5k from Macquarie Business Park.
Studio 8 has been the preferred location for corporate and government travel groups, both for short and long-stay accommodation.
We provide one of the best corporate accommodations for business travellers and executives who want to stay for a short conference or one-on-one meeting.
We also provide long-term stay accommodation that includes your stay and the best luxury amenities for a comfortable stay.
Please get in touch with us to learn more about our short- and long-term accommodation plans.
The level of attention to our guests is summed up well by Jacky V who said:
“Highly recommended, Very clean, comfy bed, close to shops and … mall.
Very friendly and professional staff. The ambience is very smart and beautiful.
It will be home away from home when I am in Sydney from now on.”