It’s official, we’ve declared 2021 as the beginning of “The Era of Purposeful Travel”, where companies will become more focused on where the true value of business travel lies.

The Era of Purposeful Travel follows a long period of travel volume growth and incremental evolutions in travel and meetings management, brought to a shuddering halt by the chaos created by the virus and associated travel restrictions.  The pause in travel volumes and changes to the way organisations operate, provides this unique opportunity to think about travel as an enabler versus a budget line.

We are calling on companies to stop thinking about travel volume as a % of 2019 volume.  That’s like doing a drag & drop of 2019 practices into a new era, it’s an outdated practice that won’t help any company succeed in 2021 and beyond.  Instead the Purposeful Travel approach enables a smarter conversation that focuses on where being there in-person will expedite or improve the outcome.

The Era of Purposeful Travel is the logical next phase after the Permissible Travel phase, where companies have structured and released travel which is deemed government approved, company approved and employee agreed. Our “Permissible Travel Framework”, created and gifted to the sector in the midst of the crisis, was accessed by over 9,000 companies worldwide and received wide acclaim over the summer months.

So, what is it we plan to do to support the industry in approaching The Era of Purposeful Travel?

Well, our initial work has been to engage senior buyers in the UK at a face to face meeting on 2nd – 3rd November to work through a defined FESTIVE ROAD process called MACROSCOPE.  We work through the process to outline types of travel, their value to organisations and how possible it is to deliver these virtually versus face to face. We take a “default to virtual” approach to ensure there’s no bias  The output from that work will be peer-reviewed and then gifted to the sector as a Purposeful Travel Model which all buyers will be able to implement independently.

Plans to release the model to the sector in the New Year are well underway.

#BeyondThePause

Caroline Strachan & Paul Tilstone, Managing Partners