The coronavirus outbreak surely has impacted everyone’s life in some way shape or form. No one has a magic crystal ball to know when Business Travel will return to the new “normal,” and it might not even be the same for all people or organizations. News surrounding COVID-19 is changing fast, and this also means opinions are constantly changing. We wanted to take a look at some stats and trends happening in the industry right now and also think about ways we can help address each approach to beginning travel again.
ASAP – Get me on the Road!
There might be some frequent travelers itching to get back out on the road. Maybe it’s because they are getting a little stir-crazy staying at home, or maybe it’s because they need to get out there in order to feed their family. Whatever the reason, there will be those ready to travel, even though the way they are traveling will have changed. On a poll conducted by GBTA on April 8, more than half of those surveyed believe regular business travel to resume in just two or three months. With the concerns surrounding the potential resurgence of COVID-19 in the coming months, now is the time to be reviewing your policy tools to ensure that you are ready to support them when that time comes. Everything is changing rapidly in a short amount of time, so be sure to stay up to date with industry and global changes.
Staggered Approach – Slow Roll
One of the industry’s leading publications, the Executive Traveller believes that business travel will help lead the way back to “normal” travel, but don’t predict to see all travel fully return in full force until 2023. Even as travel begins to open up, things won’t be exactly the same as they were before COVID-19. Organizations such as Smart Travel Lab predicted a few scenarios for travel going forward. They could see business travelers only traveling during specific times of the year if the virus becomes seasonal, more local travel and remote meetings, as well as strong regulations coming back if the virus emerges again in other countries.
Although there is no definite answer to when all business travel will resume, it’s largely dependent on the needs of individual organizations. What we do know, is that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the business travel industry forever. Many of us are now thinking more about duty of care, traveler wellness and communication than ever before. Has COVID-19 put the traveler back in business travel? Has it opened our eyes to the individuals who are affected by our policies? Even though your people aren’t traveling, use this time to get ready for when they are back on the road, whenever that may be. Review these things at your organization internally and let your TMC help guide you and find areas of opportunity in your policy. Talk to us today.
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