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What did we learn from a room full of industry disruptors and innovators?

As the buzz of the Business Travel Show begins to slowly settle, we discussed what we learned from a room full of industry visionaries, disruptors and innovators.

It has been an unusual year for travel. From unprecedented demand and staffing issues to sustainable innovations and revolutionary technology. It is clear that the industry is back in a big way. As the buzz of the Business Travel Show begins to slowly settle, we discussed what we learned from a room full of industry visionaries, disruptors and innovators.


Excellent service is of vital importance to all organisations in the travel sector. Providing great customer service often results in a high level of satisfaction and encourages clients to return and recommend an organisation to others.

Being accessible, accountable and authentic to customers has never been more important. A good TMC needs to be where customers are. Whether they are using WhatsApp, Teams, Slack, phone calls or emails, we need to be one step ahead and be experts on each technology and be available out of hours. Efficiency is key for today’s successful travel manager and traveller.

Numbers matter to customers and ATPI prides itself on an exceptionally strong service. With an NPS score of 60, an average call response time of 15 seconds and an email response of 2 hours 12 minutes, our team is confident in being able to help customers when it matters the most.


It is widely reported that businesses across Europe are struggling to fill vacancies. With the travel industry currently in the eye of the storm, it comes as no surprise that companies at the Business Travel Show are no different.

After battling through the negatives of COVID and Brexit, the travel industry is currently in the midst of the worst cost-living crisis in decades, with workers being with price hikes across the board. During the panel session ‘How to engage travellers and other stakeholders in your travel programme’ it was stated that 99% of travellers are open to travelling again, in turn adding further pressure to the industry.

Clients want honesty about staffing levels and are often empathetic around the current industry-wide shortage of staff, especially when many teams are delivering pre-pandemic levels of service.

In order to futureproof and bring new talent to the industry, a number of TMCs have started to create apprenticeship schemes for students across the country. By introducing teenagers to different aspects of travel, it opens the opportunity for a life-long career, something that ATPI has great success with already with the Rising Star programme.

Travel Policies

The way corporates view and manage business travel has changed post-pandemic. New-look travel policies and procedures have replaced many low-cost policies, pushing duty of care to the front of mind.

Travel policies are now more focussed on people and retention. Many are adjusting their policies to put the comfort of the traveller at the forefront of a journey whilst balancing some cost-saving efforts in the process.
Companies have made adjustments to allow more business class or economy plus travel, instilling a safer and more comfortable approach to travelling.

Environmental Sustainability

This was unsurprisingly still a hot topic at this year’s Business Travel Show. Whilst the Marine and Energy, as well as some other sectors had to continue to travel in order to fulfil their contracts throughout the pandemic, for many corporate clients the return to travel is journey they are looking to plan as sustainably as possible. Various panellists underlined the importance of raising awareness amongst the travelling workforce, helping them to make the right choices, rather than mandating them at this point in time. By highlighting to travellers the emissions difference between a domestic rail and air journey, many are seeing positive changes in behaviour.

There was much debate on various panels about SAF and about offsetting.

A growing number of companies are combining carefully chosen offset programmes along with their plans to reduce travel emissions. It is a simple fact that a zero emissions travel policy simply doesn’t exist yet, and so helping to achieve carbon neutrality and eventually net zero by 2050, can be supported through offsetting, while companies make strategic changes to reduce their overall GHG footprint.  As long as offsets are auditable and transparent they are recognised as a way to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as part of a corporate’s wider ESG strategy.

SAF remains a subject of debate. Whilst it is a necessary development and cuts well to tank emissions, it is not the ultimate longterm solution. It must be embraced as a positive development to reducing overall emissions, but mustn’t be assumed to be the end solution, and airlines and governments need to continue to invest in R&D for alternative fuels and more aerodynamic aircraft.

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