Corporate Travel Shows Signs of Recovery

According to Madhavan Menon, Managing Director at Thomas Cook (India) Group and the first speaker in the Sabre Ascent series, corporate travel has been signalling strong signs of recovery.

Speaking as part of Sabre’s new virtual insights series, Menon shared that throughout March 2022, Thomas Cook (India) has seen domestic corporate travel reach around 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels, with international corporate travel beginning to follow the same trajectory.

Menon’s comments align with Sabre’s latest figures in its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions, which provided updated recovery figures for 1 to 28 March compared to the same period in 2019.

The Sabre filing showed that while domestic and leisure travel has continued to lead the industry’s road to recovery, international and corporate travel have significantly improved at an increasing rate since January 2022. It is expected that the March 2022 recovery versus the same period for international and corporate travel will be at its peak levels since the onset of the pandemic.

Menon said he expects technology to become a critical role in corporate travel as the number of business travellers rises, helping them navigate travel amid the pandemic and personalise their experiences.

The webinar also highlighted the challenges and opportunities introduced by the pandemic, the transformation of domestic tourism, new personalisation trends, sustainability, and the evolving demands of travellers.

“What was initially seen as a challenge actually turned out to be an opportunity. I don’t think any of us had faced a challenge of this kind, but there was a realisation you’re not alone, and everybody is facing the same problem. The last two years have given us the opportunity to re-set,” said Menon.

According to Menon, Thomas Cook (India) has implemented back-end integration and upgraded its technology to facilitate a more customer-centric focus.

“This journey we are taking at Thomas Cook is moving from telling the customer what he or she should do on his holiday to the point where the customer chooses how he or she wants to go on holiday and how they want to interact with us.”