We caught up with Earle Thomas ahead of him speaking at Business Travel Show to find out what keeps him awake at night and why travel management will look ‘like a duck’ in 2022:
What keeps you awake at night?
The security of our travellers.
What innovation will make the biggest impact on travel management in the next 12 months?
The integration of leisure availability fully into the corporate environment.
How will business travel look in 2022?
All the ‘stress’ will be on the providers. Travellers will seek the least stressful route for them as individuals.
How will managing business travel look in 2022?
Like a duck. The traveller cruising and the industry paddling like mad, with the travel manager being the conduit between the two and the main driver for legal compliance.
How will the business traveller look in 2022?
Relaxed and very tech-savvy.
How will we, as an industry, best survive the next three years?
By breaking down the barriers between the leisure and corporate sectors.
What will buyers learn from your session?
How to tackle the sensitive subject of booking for non-employees and discuss solutions to ensure they remain on the right side of the law and avoid the huge potential (financial) pitfalls.
What drives you mad about corporate travel?
Travellers that think they know better than the industry at large.
How regularly should buyers switch up your service provider portfolio?
They should review their providers every three years.
Why? What are the benefits?
A new supplier needs a year to settle, a year to compare and the final year to perform. Review after three years to ensure the market hasn’t developed beyond your TMC.
Earle Thomas is associate director, procurement at Buro Happold. He is taking part in two sessions at Business Travel Show - Solving the challenge of booking non-employee travel (21 February at 11:30) and Breaking up is hard to do – how to switch travel service providers with less headaches (19 February at 16:30).