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06 Feb 2020

Travel programmes are ignoring the needs of minority travellers

A Business Travel Show poll of European travel buyers has revealed that many travel programmes are ignoring the specific needs of minority travellers.

For example, just 13 per cent of travel programmes have been created with special consideration for younger travellers, even though millennials account for half of the UK workforce and almost one third globally.

Approximately three quarters of travel programmes don’t take into account the specific needs of disabled, older, orthodox religious followers and LGTBQIA+ travellers. Solo women are slightly better served, with 32 per cent of programmes built with their requirements in mind.

Despite these figures, 67 per cent of travel managers confirmed their travellers’ duty of care comes within their job role. 80 per cent have a strategy for limiting managing and resolving traveller risk and over half (54 per cent) confirmed their programmes do include policies designed to improve their travellers’ health and wellbeing.

“Conscious travel is a major theme of the Business Travel Show this year,” confirmed Northstar Travel Media UK managing director David Chapple. “Often this is misconstrued to be solely about sustainability and environmental issues, but ethical travel management goes beyond that and touches every element of the process where we can be kinder and more considerate to travellers, business and the world around us.

“We have The Wellness Retreat at Business Travel Show this year for the first time. It’s a place where buyers discover new products and services that have been designed specifically to make travelling less stressful on the body and mind.”

The Wellness Retreat is sponsored by Kooth Work and exhibitors include Business Travel Wellbeing Community, Trip Unwind, Shizen Nutrition, RBR Active and Dr. Lucy Rattrie. Alongside Uber and Sanctify, they will all be hosting mini sessions and demos throughout the show.

When asked to define the most important thing he does to look after his travellers’ wellbeing, Sodexo senior global mobility buyer Gavin Harvey pointed to technology, saying: “Travel management companies have improved their traveller focused offering and with the new generation of apps as well as improved consumer apps it makes business travel far less stressful than before.”

Fellow travel manager Brigitte Lehle, head of travel management at Porsche, added: “Travellers need to focus on their work instead of complex travel and expense processes, therefore, they should be enabled to book, travel and claim expenses with as little effort as possible and give them the information needed at that the right point and right time.”

Conscious travel will feature on the Business Travel Show conference programme in three sessions:

  • Is it time to introduce an ethical travel programme?
  • Can car rental offer a green alternative to travel programmes?
  • The true win-win-win: How to save money, travellers’ health and the planet.