The travel battle of relationships

EP recently wrote, “Business is all about relationships and one of the most common discussion pieces of the modern era is how many companies are being driven by their internal processes rather than focusing on building great relationships.”

There is no doubt that spending time with clients externally can enhance a relationship and can lead to business success. Nothing beats travelling to meet someone and cementing a relationship with them. However, as the world of work has changed and digitally enhanced options have become the norm, companies may have become too internally focused. Taking the example of corporate travel, businesses appear to be restricting their employees’ movement and this is now starting to be seen in the hotel industry. The argument could be because of overheads but it may also be related to the digitally connected world and the dependence on technology.


Employee Grounding

In the U.S. hotel occupancy was the highest its ever recorded during a second quarter – 69.5, according to STR. However the CEOs of both Hilton and Marriott International have noted that corporate travel is weakening.

Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta argued the corporate travel environment would feel the benefit of tax reforms to “help change the psychology with our corporate customers.”

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson echoed similar sentiments, saying “companies…are being very cautious about travel and very cautious about managing expenses.”

It is really a price sensitivity issue?

Or are companies no longer focusing on the need for relationships and instead relying on brands and digital activities to do the work for them? Companies may be cutting costs by stopping travel but this action could appear pessimistic for their employees and hinder that relationship.

There is no greater way of showing someone cares than meeting a client and discussing what their business objections are. Building trust, increasing sales, gaining advocates – the obvious reasons are there but it seems some have forgotten this.