FCM Illuminate sheds light on the future of work and travel as business events and corporate travel returns.
As Singapore relaxes its safe meeting and social-distancing rules, travel management company FCM Travel Solutions Asia held its first in-person post-Covid event for Asia at the new Hilton Singapore Orchard in April 2022 to draw insights on the changing face of business travel for the Asian traveller and reconnect with industry peers.
Sustainability and corporate wellness in the inter-pandemic era were key topics of the event agenda, with FCM Asia’s Managing Director Bertrand Saillet bringing the good news on Asia’s current state of the market and the future within. FCM reported a 75 per cent return to pre-Covid business levels in April and a USD5 billion worth of business since the start of the pandemic. The travel management company cited the two biggest Cs for surviving the crisis: cash and content.
While having sufficient dough kept them afloat, Saillet said it was crucial that they are in sync with the ever-evolving technology and amalgamate it with their content. That includes FCM’s AI-powered Intelligent Data Platform, the award-winning 24/7 in-app traveller support, their NDC MarketPlace programme, and more.
Bryan Koh, Div Vice President E-commerce and Distribution, Singapore Airlines, was also invited to speak about the airline’s role in sustainability and customer wellness and how the airline overcame challenges with its e-commerce endeavours and innovative offerings.
Brayden Lai, Digital Climate Solutions, South Pole, talked about moving the needle in sustainable practices during a special fireside chat with South Pole hosted by Scott Reddie, FCM Travel Asia’s Chief Business Officer. He highlighted that several different standards and methodologies of calculating carbon footprint have led to complex sustainability decisions that need to be addressed by executive teams as part of corporate governance and need to be floated and explored for the new generation of employees and travellers. Effecting change requires relooking at the entire value chain.
Attendees also cosied up with FCM’s partners to explore how wellness programmes throughout the corporate travel experience can improve safety, increase engagement and enhances a traveller’s overall health.
More grounded business travel with fewer trips and longer stay durations was highlighted as a change brought about by the pandemic that will continue to live on as the world resumes business travel. Panellists said companies need to support and accommodate that change while tracking travellers’ health and well-being. Booking windows need to be heavily extended as well as uncertainty becomes the new norm.
The FCM Illuminate event was held as a precursor to the travel management company’s inaugural FCM Th!nk event held on 10 May 2022. FCM Th!nk was positioned as an original and thought-provoking programme of carefully curated and exclusive content co-hosted by top-notch guests from around the world.
The forum tackled topics in the corporate travel world through live and on-demand sessions. To accommodate different time zones, live components anchored the event and was broadcasted over 24 hours.
FCM assembled a line-up of pioneering business leaders, innovators and disruptors from inside and outside the industry to address wide-ranging themes, such as the role of tech in travel innovation, understanding what the Metaverse means for the industry, and more.
FCM’s consulting arm also unpacked insights and data garnered from the company’s global operations, while Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) shared its latest research findings through a series of exclusive sessions.
“Over the past two years, the global travel landscape has irrevocably changed, and so have the challenges our industry faces. It’s time to adjust the dialogue to what’s resonating with our customers, the buyer community and industry colleagues, and collectively address the big issues now with a nod to the future,” said FCM Global Managing Director Marcus Eklund.