Globalization has brought incredible advantages to
businesses over the past 20 to 30 years and benefited emerging markets that
have seen production growth skyrocket in their countries. But geopolitical
concerns, changing consumer and corporate values—such as the focus on
sustainability—rising costs, and supply-chain issues are forcing a rethink. Business
travel patterns may shift as a result.
This reset could prove to be one of the most wide-ranging and
impactful developments for business travel, not only for 2022 but for years to
Turning away from globalization will have implications on
global trade, financial flows (such as reduced investment in export-dependent
countries), migration, and digital connectivity, plus there will likely be a
re-positioning of economic benefits away from emerging markets.
We know that a single change to any of the above can
impact business travel volumes and patterns, as well as the ease of travel
between countries. Crossing international borders may never be as simple
as it used to be.
Travelers will find international travel more complex and
will need extra support from their companies to navigate this new complexity. For
example, some countries now mandate vaccination for certain occupations, office
visits or even for attending events at certain venues. Being fully vaccinated
could become a condition of international travel or a requirement at the
destination--and travelers will need to be educated about these constantly changing
Now is a good time for travel managers and procurement professionals to
reevaluate their programs and consider how larger forces at play in the world
could influence their strategy. Whether the globalization reset is something
that affects a company today or in the future, here are three actions travel
managers and procurement professionals can take to proactively address this
monitor and action travel data. Now is the time to
examine travel spend and revisit supplier agreements. Implementing technologies
to help monitor data and provide insights to prompt swift action in managing
corporate travel programs will become even more critical as the globalization
reset takes shape.
Ensure adequate support for international travel.Vaccination requirements, digital health passes, and geopolitical
developments—such as the U.K.’s exit from the European Union—will
require careful monitoring and frequent updating from travel supplier partners.
Access to proactive messaging and communication capabilities will play a
critical role for traveler safety. The right guidance will help travelers book
their trips within policy and through approved channels, so companies can track
travelers and monitor their safety at all times. Program compliance is key to the
newly expanded duty of care, which goes beyond business travelers to include
all employees, no matter where they are.
Evaluate and adjust supplier agreements as needed. With an increased emphasis on sustainability, local brands may thrive
as part of the reset as consumers are encouraged to buy local. Partner with
travel suppliers that are committed to reduce their environmental impact by
composing RFP documents that require sustainability commitments and details
about the progress being made towards their sustainability goals. Also ask
about the makeup of global and local operations of supplier partners.
Much remains to be seen
about how the globalization reset will affect corporations, nations,
individuals and the business travel community. As the reset begins to unfold in 2022, travel
managers and procurement professionals can have the best of both worlds by
working with travel suppliers that have global networks supported by local
operations to deliver market-level expertise.