Business travel is making a comeback: interview with Susanna Peretti from BTM

Business travel in Italy in 2021: all the data from the Observatory

In 2021, business travel in Italy rose to 8.8 billion euros from 7.6 in 2020. The number of business trips goes up the slope, a 15 million. The companies integrate new requirements in the authorization process: risk e travel manager they work more and more side by side, with HR and procurement. The spending budget for business travel remains in the hands of transport, for the greater part of 4.5 billion. But beware: the + 9% of fuel prices affects the increase.

Can we talk about the recovery of business travel? No. We have to wait until 2025, as has been said immediately. For mutationsinstead, it is interesting to see how business approaches change.

Business Travel in Italy in 2021: the Observatory

The presentation of the data from the 2022 Observatory on business travel was held in recent days, in presence at the Bovisa campus of the Milanese Polytechnic and at the same time in live streaming.

To illustrate the results, the professor Andrea Guizzardi, author of the same and professor at the University of Bologna; together with the co-director of the study Eleonora Lorenziniin fact, since 2019 the Emilian university has joined the Polytechnic to study together the evolution of the travel industry.

Guizzardi: «In 2021 we saw a poor market of quantity and quality because there have been no international travels. Like always, Transports they generate the main budget variations, with a much higher demand than the offer and not very competitive rates. Something has changed: we see that the industry sector performs worse than that of services (in terms of travel, ed), contrary to the dynamics of the GDP with which business travel has always been aligned “.

Business trips in 2021: which ones?

Between relevancecommercial activity (for 13%) is at the top of the “technical” intervention needs (10%) such as travel motivationwhile corporate meetings go to 18% share and MICE to 10%.

Among the means of transport, good the train at 14% like the plane for the number of trips.

On the forecasts for 2022, Professor Guizzardi states that «the uncertainty on the effects of the health emergency is reduced; Travel managers are more rational in their analysis ».

But we will wait until 2025 to return to the 20 billion euro value of BT in Italy. This year we are expected to rise to 10.8 billion.

«Travel managers see their work as more complex. Before they organized trips, after Covid-19 they will control the trip: duty of care, costs, documentation, revision “.

He continues: «This is an important bell of change: the market will not reach the levels it used to be in a short time, but TMs must produce now services with a much higher added value. This will determine a completely new market».

Travel policy, safety and sustainability: innovation trend

The Business Travel 2022 Observatory notes that only 10% of companies does not yet have a travel policy.

Compared to this organizational toolthe Coronavirus acted as a powerful stimulator. Il 25% of the companies participating in the survey is addressed to a Tmc for the management of travel management. Again, a potentially expandable share.

“The need to manage the travel activities of employees is increasing – explains Eleonora Lorenzini -, as well as the use of external safety and security figures to the company. Attention to sustainability is also strengthened in business travel, but only 9% have adopted a sustainable travel policy. While another 9% has established a real budget to offset CO2 emissions ».

The professor points out that there is a problem of homogeneity for the detection of carbon dioxide data, according to which suppliers give the value of emissions produced by the purchase of a plane ticket or a hotel reservation. Therefore no usable data is obtained.

Per Emanuela Mercurimarketing manager at Europcar Mobility Group Italyrentals related to business trips grow by 24% in 2021 and their duration by 6% because the car is increasingly chosen as a means of transport for the entire trip and no longer only at the destination.

He argues: «Sustainability is one of the pillars of the group’s strategic plan. The goal is to have 20% of the fleet made up of green vehicles (less than 50 grams of CO2 / km) by the end of 2024 ».

Track and inform employees on the go

In 2021, the decisive action taken was to equip themselves with tracking systems (39% of companies did so), as well as information platforms on destination and travel-related risks (38%).

It is important that today the minimum safety parameters to be observed in the authorization process of the trip are integrated, therefore before organizing it.

For Lucio Mattiellimanaging director di Sicuritalia Security Solution, the changes on safety concepts on the go will be permanent.

He observes: «Today the travel policy also writes about the green pass, for one thing. As far as we are concerned, the request for integration of the management platforms of the security company with travel management systems increased by 40% ».

Among the customers of Sicuritalia, the figura del travel security manager it spread hand in hand. The first growth driver was the regulatory complexity of this period.

In this regard, Sicuritalia has performed a test: between a security specialist and one without a security background to organize a business trip. The difference resulted in a gap of 5 times in the time taken for the realization.

Eleonora Lorenzini presents the approach to sustainability in business travel of companies in Italy

The expense of business travel in Italy in 2021 – HIGHLIGHTS

– The market has registered signs of recovery after a disastrous 2020 (-63% on 2019): the expenditure of the sector grows by + 15% and reaches share of 8.8 billion eurosagainst 7.6 in 2020;

– Even the total number of tripsi returns to increase in 2021 to 15,298,000, + 12% compared to 13,610 in 2020);

– il national market (3.7 billion euros, + 16% on 2020) continues to do slightly better than the international one (5 billion, + 15%);

– the forecast estimates that 2022 will close with spending just under 11 billion euros, but still at -47% compared to pre-Covid levels.

Prices and spending: how they changed in 2021

– Prices also increased in 2021. With few exceptions in air transport (domestic flights -8% and European flights -1%). There are important progressions in the long-haul air transport (+8%), railway (+ 7%) and in rental / sharing (+ 6%). However, the most important data to explain the 16% increase in national spending remains the + 9% of fuels.

– Shopping for transport it is the most significant item in the travel budget of Italian companies: 52%, 4.5 billion euros, slightly up compared to 51% in 2020;

–  circa 2.5 million more overnight stays distributed mainly in the second half of the year. However, the progress of € 310 million for the hotel industry on a loss of 3.6 billion euros in 2020,

– slightly better cateringwith 202 million euros more than in 2020 (+ 15%).

The revision of the travel policy of companies

– The pandemic acted from booster on instrument for the correct management of company travel and for the protection of the employee on mission for work:

– One in two Italian companies has decided to introduce ex-new guidelines (3%) or to modify existing ones (47%);

– 10% of medium-large Italian companies do not yet have a travel policy, but in almost half of these its introduction is being evaluated (4%);

Digitization in Business Travel

– Almost all Italian companies (98%) have started a process of digitalization of business travel management;

reservation e payment the most digitized activities are confirmed, with 61% of companies booking travel services through digital tools and 86% using electronic payment tools to complete the purchase (4% will introduce them shortly);

– 67% of respondents (up from 58% pre-pandemic) introduced digital tools for reporting of expenses.

Safety e security

– The two-year period 2020-21 brings out the need for companies and travelers to have access to information always updated and reliable on destinations;

– companies equip themselves with tracking systems (39%) and information platforms or systems on the destination and travel-related risks (38%);

– il 26% integrates directly into the authorization process the minimum safety parameters to be respected in order to subsequently proceed with the organization of the trip.

[Scarica alcune slide della ricerca da questa pagina di Analisi/Survey]

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