The beginning of a new year is always a time for reflection. In 2023, the Travel Industry went on quite the journey, shaped by social, political and economic factors. From China reopening its borders post-COVID, to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.
As we enter into 2024, we consider what the turn of the year will bring to the Travel Industry.
Dual Surge: Business and Pleasure Travel on the Rise
In 2024, we anticipate a surge in travel, across both business and pleasure – and a hybrid of the two. While for many people, the pandemic years may seem to be a thing of the past, the ramifications of COVID are still being felt, especially within the travel space.
As global conditions continue to stabilize and travel restrictions ease entirely, people are keen to travel and see it as much of a necessity than a luxury now.
For businesses, some have resumed operations as if the pandemic never happened. Employees are going into the office 5 days a week, and are travelling to conferences and meetings as before.
However, for some, a new normal has come into play. It is estimated that two-thirds (69%) of businesses now offer hybrid working. Extremely popular with businesses as they can tap into a broader workforce talent pool, reduce or even eliminate overheads like office rental, and even boost productivity. Employees are equally drawn to this set-up as they achieve a better work-life balance, reduce or eliminate commuting time, and have greater flexibility.
Whether it be for work, for pleasure or both – we anticipate that people will be travelling more than ever in 2024.
Automation Essential for OTAs: Meeting Growing Booking Volumes
With the rise in travel, automation of processes and payments will become essential for Online Travel Agents (OTAs). As booking volumes increase, automation will ensure efficiency, accuracy, and a seamless customer experience. OTAs will rely on partners to provide this across bookings, payments and communications.
Brexit’s Impact: Compliance and Adjustments
Compliance will be a central focus for the Travel Industry in 2024. New regulations, customs procedures, and visa requirements will continue to necessitate adjustments. Travel businesses must navigate these changes, ensuring a smooth experience for travellers while adhering to evolving regulatory landscapes.
And now that the Brexit grace period has ended, businesses operating in the travel space must ensure that their payments provider is fully authorised to operate in both the UK and EU – or risk losing their payments capabilities.
Security at the Core: Combatting the Rise in Fraud
As both booking and online transactions surge, so will exposure to fraud. As such, security concerns will take centre stage for travel businesses in 2024 – namely ensuring the security of bookings and payments, and demanding proactive measures to protect customers and businesses themselves. We predict that many businesses will shift to using single-use virtual cards to protect their funds, with the added benefit of optimising reconciliation at the same time.
Long Winter Breaks: Retirees Respond to Cost of Living Crisis
A noteworthy trend in 2024 will be the popularity of long winter breaks among retirees. Driven by the cost of living crisis, we predict that retirees will seek affordable and extended travel options. The travel industry can cater to this demographic by offering tailored packages and promotions that align with extended winter stays.
The travel industry is on the brink of a transformative year in 2024, marked by a resurgence in travel for business and pleasure, and an increased focus on compliance, automation and security. To navigate these changes successfully, businesses must be agile, adaptive, and technology-forward. By aligning strategies with the evolving needs of travellers and embracing digital innovations in payments and B2B processes, the travel industry can look forward to a prosperous 2024.
Here at Pax2pay, we can help you take the pain out of your payments. We can provide you with virtual card issuing, bank transfers, invoice payments, and account creation so that you can unlock extra revenue, streamline operations, boost acceptance and enhance security on every payment.
Founded in 2019, Pax2pay was created with one simple ambition: to take the pain out of payments for businesses everywhere. We began with virtual cards, unlocking extra revenue, streamlining operations, boosting acceptance and enhancing security for businesses all around the world.
Since then we have grown in size, geographic reach, and offering. Today, we provide a complete digital payments solution that includes bank transfers, invoice payments, accounts creation and more. We’re proud to support some of the world’s leading businesses, and partner with some of the most innovative technology providers globally.