“The largest corporations that spend the most on business travel are generally at about 75% of their 2019 spend, and they seem to be plateauing there. The growth is really coming from the small and mid-sized enterprises – those are the ones that are powering the recovery.” - Scott Gillespie, Founder & CEO of tClara
The current state of business travel is in an interesting place, characterized by a healthy dose of cautious optimism and adaptability that’s counter-balanced by concerns over climate implications and the rising cost of travel.
The post-pandemic “recovery” that we all expected is indeed underway, but it has also exposed some hesitancy in the market as some business travelers have grown to prefer the convenience (and low cost) of Zoom over in-person travel.
To discuss this and more, I recently welcomed back Scott Gillespie to the podcast. Scott is the founder and CEO of tClara, a company that provides advice, thought leadership, and innovation to business travel industry stakeholders.
Scott is an industry-leading expert on travel strategy, carbon emissions, justifiable travel, traveler friction, and trip valuation. He has also worked across the travel industry and got his start in the ATK strategic sourcing practice of the 1990s while managing the corporate travel category.
Scott was first on the podcast all the way back in 2016, and we recently reconnected over a piece of research that he has undertaken called “The Justified Business Trip” that measures the ROI of individual business trips and its usage in managing travel demand.
In this episode, we also discussed the current health of the business travel category. Scott has recently attended the 2023 GBTA conference, and I started by asking him some of his takeaways from the event.
We covered things like: