Egencia’s air-rail comparison tool signals shift towards a low-cost, sustainable future for business travel, says GlobalData

Travel management company (TMC) Egencia Travel’s game-changing new tool, which enables business travelers to compare rail alternatives to flights before purchase, will meet the modern-day demands of corporate travel programs, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Craig Bradley, Associate Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “Cost and sustainability are key factors in many organizations’ environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) plans. With sustainability a major trend in tourism, and concerns with travel budgets remaining, there is a higher demand for low-cost and sustainable travel solutions. Subsequently, other TMCs will face pressure from clients to offer similar solutions to the air-rail comparison tool, resulting in more adopters of this booking mechanism. This will allow organizations and individual business travelers to make more informed choices about how they get from A to B, leading to a more sustainable future within business travel.”

Demand for sustainability from travelers is clear

According to a survey by GlobalData, 76%* of respondents said they were influenced by how ethical/environmentally-friendly/social responsible a product/service is, highlighting the appetite for more sustainable offerings.

Bradley continues: “While many individual business travelers are not the final decision makers for travel options within an organization, these travelers are likely be more compliant if their organization incorporates sustainable initiatives. In addition, those traveling for ‘bleisure’ (business and leisure), which is a growing trend in business travel, will also consider booking rail alternatives.”

Budgetary constraints – Business travel spending will reduce significantly

It is not just the environmental sustainability of travel that is in question. The pandemic has significantly reduced business travel budgets across multiple sectors. As travel restrictions begin to ease, many organizations will expect their TMC to offer not only sustainable, but also cost-effective solutions.

Bradley, adds: “While travel is still a necessity for some businesses, many cannot afford to spend excessive amounts on air travel and will look to find alternatives.

“In a GlobalData poll*, 43% of respondents said their company’s travel budget would ‘reduce significantly’ because of the pandemic, underlining the need for low-cost travel solutions. These rail alternatives can pass on more savings to clients due to lower prices per ticket on average, compared to airlines.”

* Q1 2021 Consumer survey, ‘always,’ ‘often,’ or ‘somewhat’ responses combined.

More Media