< PrevNext > Model Maker Caroline Strachan, Festive Road managing partner By Amon Cohen / December 13, 2021 Share Consultancy Festive Road’s Purposeful Travel Model has been one of the biggest corporate travel download hits of 2021. Aimed at getting companies to think systematically about which interactions are more effective face-to-face and which can be handled virtually, the model, available for free, has been viewed more than 3,000 times, and 400 companies have signed up to receive updates and provide feedback.Several major travel management companies have launched customized versions of the model for their clients.Festive Road also enjoyed considerable success in 2020 with its Permissible Travel Framework, which helped companies prepare for post-pandemic travel. Others have covered some of the same ground as both the 2020 framework and 2021 model; but Festive Road’s branding and communication skills in the travel management sector made its offering stimulate the widest conversations. The Purposeful Travel Model was the brainchild of Caroline Strachan, who considered the content essential to put in front of travel managers. “I thought we had got to a unique moment where we had almost zero spend and carbon,” said Strachan. “We had a once-in-a-century opportunity to focus on the why of taking trips rather than the what and when. Everyone kept talking about what percentage of 2019 travel they might return to, but how do you know 2019 was the right number to start with?”The heart of the model lists 22 different potential reasons for business travel and asks travel managers to work with internal stakeholders to choose between “Zoom versus in-the-room” for each of them. “You default them all to virtual, then start a conversation about whether there is a reason for making them face-to-face instead,” said Strachan. By the end of the process, the intention is that companies can define a policy to guide when employees should and shouldn’t travel.Strachan hopes the model can save money and the planet by cutting out unnecessary trips, but save business travel when it is necessary too. “I worry business travel has a brand issue and is seen as a lavish indulgence,” she said. “If we don’t change, business travel will be constantly cut.”She and her fellow Roaders, as they like to call themselves, are working on refinements to the model in 2022, including helping travel managers to “operationalize” their stay-or-go decision-making, for example by building policy rules into online booking tools.