In a report published at the end of July, the Accor group paints the future of business travel in Europe. This report is part of the Accor Master of Travel series. These meetings regularly bring together business travel managers to share their views on future demand.

For example, in her latest series, Sophie Hulgard, Senior Vice President Sales Northern Europe at Accor, estimates that business travel in 2022 will be down 20% compared to 2019. She is even somewhat pessimistic about future demand. It claims that the 20% of business meetings that have disappeared are never expected to return to Europe. Some have simply been replaced by virtual equivalents. Still others are now seen as simply no longer necessary.

The environment is becoming more and more important in the evaluation of business travel

In its study, Accor indicates that the priorities of a meeting or a business trip are now re-evaluated in terms of sustainability and environmental protection. According to Accor, in the new priorities defined in the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the idea that “traveling less helps to save the planet†is now widely circulated.

All travel must therefore justify its carbon emissions. Offsetting is no longer enough, and our hotel partners must prove that they are actively reducing their ecological footprint,†said a travel consultant during the Master of Travel at Accor.

There is also the idea that a single night’s stay outdoors is no longer in the air and is exceptional. This gives hotel groups an option to refine what they offer to business travelers whose priority is “useful travelâ€. They encourage them to take longer trips.

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Bleisure and workation: the future of the business traveler?

According to a participant in the Master of Travel: “We encourage our employees to consider whether they can stay longer. Or to combine a business trip with a leisure trip. Workations” are a flexible offer for these new trends – extending and staying longer is an incentive to partly “de-carbonize” oneâ€?s business.

However, these new trends are not expected to have a major impact on the hotel chains’ business. The Accor study shows that in terms of revenue, one real meeting is worth three virtual meetings.

Business travel should therefore continue, albeit at a slower pace. Employers will compare hotel and transportation options more. And they will also calculate the carbon emissions generated. This in turn will encourage longer stays and push for “bleisureâ€. A notion that, in the past, was notThis was not always considered an interesting option.