Click below if you would like to leave the CTM Australasia website and be directed to the CTM Investor Centre. To return, simply click the close button Visit X site

Local solutions, delivered globally

CTM provides local service solutions to customers around the world. Please select your local region, and start experiencing the CTM difference!

Don’t show this again


CTM year in review and business travel outlook 2024

This year marked a positive departure from the challenges we faced in the wake of the pandemic. For the first time since 2020, COVID was no longer an inhibitor of the business travel function. The broader travel industry gained significant momentum as the corporate travel market rebounded, and our strategic initiatives to reposition Corporate Travel Management (CTM) began yielding favourable outcomes for our valued customers, partners, and employees.

The strong desire to resume travel was demonstrated through the results of our May 2023 Global Customer Survey. This data revealed that customers are anticipating plans to engage in more or the same volume of travel in the year ahead for:
•                Customer meetings (94%)
•                Internal meetings (91%)
•                International business trips (85%)
•                Same-day business trips (84%)

It was pleasing to witness how our unwavering commitment to personalised service, continuous technological innovation, and a proven track record of delivering tangible returns on travel investments has not only helped support the return to corporate travel but also allowed our customers to reap the benefits of reconnecting face-to-face with their business partners.

People engagement

With a globally expanded team embracing flexible work practices, our paramount focus has been to establish an optimal organisational structure, supported by a cutting-edge technology ecosystem, to support the needs of our customers and employees.

Our Global People Strategy has provided us with a comprehensive framework that has enabled us to not only attract but also retain the industry’s foremost talent, thanks to innovative approaches to recruitment, fostering employee engagement, implementing reward and recognition programs and promoting professional development initiatives.

An exciting highlight of the year was the return of our CTM All Stars Awards program, where we proudly welcomed 85 outstanding employees from all corners of the CTM Group’s global business, to connect for 4 days of celebration in Dubai. These exceptional individuals, peer-nominated for their excellence, enjoyed a unique and memorable group travel experience, returning to their roles newly inspired, empowered, and rejuvenated, and enhancing their capacity to provide exceptional service and solutions to our customers.

Technology innovation and customer service

We see AI technology as an exciting opportunity to enhance our servicing capabilities, through the provision of superior self-service solutions, via more convenient service channels, at any time of day. At the same time, AI is driving efficiencies that free our people to support our customers’ more complex travel needs.

We have embraced the opportunity to build AI into our product suite and operating ecosystem, and we will continue to modify, learn and enhance these solutions.

To improve service access and efficiency for our customers, we have developed CTM Scout, an intuitive travel chatbot housed inside the CTM Portal. Scout is designed to provide our customers with a fast track to support resolution during surges in demand, in ways that are most relevant in each regional market. For example, Scout can manage high-volume support requests such as ‘cancel my trip’ or ‘reprint my itinerary’ or assist customers in making a new travel booking via chat, thanks to Scout’s integration with our Lightning online booking tool. Scout was launched in Australia in 2023 and will roll out in all CTM regions throughout 2024.

Travel industry in review

The resurgence of business travel this year has been driven by significant factors, including the swift return of in-person meetings and events, coupled with the recovery of international business travel routes and services, stemming from the gradual reopening of borders worldwide.

An insightful gauge of the industry’s resilience and significance of face-to-face interactions in the business world is provided by the comparison of global travel frequency in 2023 to that of 2019. Remarkably, business travellers across the globe have not only maintained but in some cases also increased their travel frequency according to GBTA’s 2023 Travel Index Outlook.

Travel frequency compared to 2019 (the same or more frequent):

However, it is essential to acknowledge that the year was not without its share of challenges. Rising airfares emerged as a pressing challenge for those watching their bottom line, intensified by capacity constraints linked to supply chain disruptions, flight crew shortages, the price of fuel and escalating labour costs, collectively impacting airlines worldwide. Furthermore, the pent-up desire for travel led to a significant and continuous uptick in airline ticket prices. This led suppliers and travel buyers back to the negotiating table.

Sustainability was given an important role in the agendas of numerous businesses, as they sought to align with industry and regulatory requirements and advance their ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) objectives. Travel management companies, suppliers and travel program managers emerged as critical stakeholders to delivering on those objectives, prompting travel suppliers to initiate new and improved measures aimed at minimising their environmental impact and showcasing their commitment to sustainability. As a business, CTM continued its commitment to supporting our customers to better understand and influence the carbon footprint of their travel program, providing new booking functionality to encourage more sustainable booking behaviour, enhanced carbon reporting, and new industry partnerships including the United Airlines’ Eco-skies Alliance. This program allows companies to invest in small bulk purchases of SAF, which allows them to utilise carbon credits directly against their flight-related emissions. This partnership demonstrates what companies can achieve when they come together to reduce carbon emissions.

Business travel 2024 outlook

In 2024, we can anticipate strong growth in global business travel with forecasts from the 2023 GBTA Business Travel Index Outlook indicating a return to pre-pandemic levels, reaching USD$1.4 trillion by 2024 and expanding to nearly USD$1.8 trillion by the close of 2027. Supporting this trend, CTM’s customers globally are exhibiting a persistent inclination towards increased travel in the coming year, with customer meetings, tradeshows, conferences, and internal meetings projected to be the primary catalysts for growth in travel programs.

Sustainability considerations and inflationary pressures are expected to continue influencing traveller choices regarding flights and accommodations. Travel suppliers are adapting their offerings to align with evolving booking behaviours. As an example, American Airlines has announced plans to phase out first-class seats on international flights in 2024 in response to both corporate travel policies and traveller preferences. Further, the IATA 2023 Annual Review explains while oil prices have stabilised from their peak levels, they remain elevated, prompting airlines to recalibrate their operational strategies and invest in more fuel-efficient aircraft to reduce their carbon footprint.

The global hotel market is facing numerous challenges, including an uneven travel recovery, labour shortages and inflation. Revenue per available room (RevPAR) initially exceeded expectations of hoteliers due to higher average daily rates (ADR) but has recently fallen short of expectations for about four months.

While economic challenges and uneven recovery patterns persist, a limited supply pipeline is expected to drive hotel rates upward. The return of international tourism, business travel, and group events, along with leisure travel, will continue to boost occupancy in 2024, making availability in select regions a challenge.

CTM’s Global Supplier Relations Team continue to negotiate and advocate with our global airline, hotel and car rental supplier partners on behalf of our customers, to secure access to the best possible corporate deals and inventory, made available through the most convenient booking channels, to drive value to our customers’ travel programs and budgets.

Farewell 2023

The last few years have been transformative for our business and the travel industry. I am exceptionally grateful to all our employees who have maintained their steadfast commitment to customer service excellence and innovation through a period of unprecedented change. I would also like to thank our valued customers, suppliers, and industry partners for your continued support and partnership.

Looking to the year ahead, 2024 marks CTM’s 30th year in business. This anniversary provides our teams with a chance to reflect on the journey we have taken, and the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. We are celebrating the “pearl” milestone with the theme “The World’s Your Oyster” – a fitting tribute to the renewed optimism and energy felt across our business as we step into 2024.

Wishing you all a safe and happy festive season with families and friends, and a prosperous and healthy new year.

Jamie Pherous
Managing Director

Ready to elevate your business travel experience?

Contact us now to explore innovative solutions and drive success in 2024.