Business travel is an important part of the travel industry. According to Decipher Zone, business travel provides opportunities to meet new people and connect with potential clients and customers when you travel for business. Business tourism also provides significant economic contributions to the local and global economy. But we all know it has changed dramatically since 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on business travel. According to Deloitte Insights, corporate travel took a big hit during the pandemic but is showing green shoots again. However, it is expected that the days of high spending will come to an end.
The fact is as we come to the middle of the 3rd quarter of 2023, corporate travel still lags leisure travel.
Bolt Business experts originally made eight predictions for 2023 which include intense periods of travel for face-to-face meetings, travellers getting the flexibility they need, a focus on travel policies, sustainable travel becoming a priority and employers using travel perks to boost retention. This hasn’t quite turned out the way they expected.
The pandemic has forced companies to re-evaluate their travel policies and adapt to new ways of doing business. Remote work has become more common and virtual meetings have replaced many in-person meetings. However, there is still a need for face-to-face meetings and business travel.
Companies are looking for ways to make business travel safer and more efficient. Many are implementing new technologies such as contactless check-in and digital passports to reduce the risk of infection. Others are offering more flexible travel policies to accommodate changing schedules and last-minute changes.
Sustainability is also becoming a priority for many companies. They are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and promote eco-friendly travel. This includes using public transportation, staying in eco-friendly hotels and reducing waste.
It is important for all travelers to care about the health of business travel as it has traditionally offset the costs of leisure travel. However in the latter half of 2023 companies are adapting to new ways of doing business and this means while leisure travel is back to pre-pandemic levels, business travel isn’t.
Across the board, large and small, eastern and western, companies are implementing new technologies to make business travel safer and more efficient. Sustainability is also becoming a priority for many companies as they look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. So there are positive outcomes. However, the total amount spent of travel still lags 2019 levels. This is leaving many in the industry wondering if it will ever fully return.