Industry Update
External Article 5 January 2021

The Future Of Business Travel

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One of the defining features of the coronavirus pandemic for working professionals has been the huge growth in communication via platforms such as Zoom. Where previously workers would meet face-to-face, the shutdown in travel and of workplaces has forced so many of us to converse virtually instead. With conferences also heading online, the business travel market has ground to a halt as people have learned to communicate without jumping on a plane to do so.

This shutdown of business travel has huge commercial implications for airlines, for whom business travelers are believed to make up around 12% of passengers, but an incredible 75% of profits. Understandably, the industry is keen for things to get back to normal as quickly as possible, and in July, a survey of GBTA members found that nearly half expected domestic business travel to resume again in the United States by autumn. Only a third believed it would take six months or more. Of course, international travel is different entirely, with the likes of Qantas suspending all international flights and many borders shutting for prolonged periods.

While there has been a reticence to return to the office after COVID-related shutdowns, there is no such reluctance to hop on a plane for conferences or in-person meetings. This is due in large part to the clear advantage of conducting business interactions face to face. For instance, it's well known that there are various benefits to communicating in person, with even a simple handshake often crucial in forging a bond with someone that underpins cooperation.

Read the full article at Forbes

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