BCD research shows impact of sustainability on hotel programmes

by: Felicity Cousins | December 4, 2023

WORLDWIDE: BCD Travel has released its global 2024 travel trend outlook noting hotel programmes will be more sustainably focussed.

The fourth edition of the quarterly Travel Market Report offers travel managers and buyers insights on economic prospects, key risks, projected prices business travel, as well as sustainable travel trends. 

The travel management company says in the 20 page report that two thirds of travel buyers consider environmentally sustainable travel to be very or extremely important. It also notes 45 per cent of travel buyers now have formal goals in place to make corporate travel more sustainable. 

In regards to the hotel sector the report shares several trends which will impact on hotel programmes in the coming year.

Data and reporting focus: In January 2024, the EU’s Corporate Sustasinability Reporting Directive (CSRD) comes in looking at existing corporate sustainability disclosures. This will impact on the supply chain and so if a hotel is part of the chain, even if it isn’t in the EU, it will have to supply this data to its client. The UK, Australia and even the US will follow with similar regulations.

Greenwashing alarm: As these standards become clearer green credentials will come under scrutiny. ‘Carbon neutral’,  ‘climate neutral’ and ‘Green’ will become terms to avoid according to BCD. Claims about sustainability will need to be specific and backed up with data (putting pressure on the supply chain to report its data, including hotels).

Climate crisis: The increasing adverse effects of climate change will disrupt the travel sector. Extreme and unpredictable weather events such as floods, fire and extreme heat.

2030 promises: Pressure is increasing as we move towards the promises of 2030. Suppliers will have to show measurements and reporting. RFPS will be asking key questions on sustainability and reporting.

Hotel choices:  Sustainability credentials will need to be certified by recognised and respected bodies. There needs to clear comparison between hotels.

Force for Good: Business travel will have to look at ways of being a Force for Good and TMCs will gave to be there to support travel programmes, which offer reduced impact.

Jorge Cruz, executive vice president of global sales & marketing at BCD said: “The EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive will come into effect in 2024, expanding on existing corporate sustainability disclosures. With the UK, Australia and possibly the US likely to follow, travel suppliers and their corporate clients should anticipate greater demands for data and transparency around their emissions.”

The report covers other trends in the hotel sector across the regions and predicts a 6.8 per cent average increase in hotel rates across the globe. According to BCD, hoteliers’ concerns about occupancy have given way to a sharper focus on average daily rates and revenue per available room, and as these increase hotels will accept lower occupancy, which in turn helps with lowering operating costs.

You can download the full 2024 outlook, which covers trends from all sectors of business travel, here.

In September BCD Travel released the results of a survey of more than 100 travel buyers and almost 1,800 business travellers to gauge the importance of environmental sustainability in business travel.

BCD Travel survey reveals companies lack sustainability goals

Image: Note Thanun on Unsplash