COVID-19 has gone a long way for uprooting long held practices, and one of which was the way businesses used the travel industry. However, even now when there are the beginnings of a vaccination for Coronavirus, many reports indicate that business will never fully return to the way it was before the shutdowns.
Many businesses have learned how to acclimate to the digital climate, and have found in it a way to reduce costs. After all, a zoom meeting is cheaper than flying in a half a dozen executives to the main building. Here is a breakdown of how businesses have changed — and what this means for the future.
It is no surprise that businesses have their workers traveling less now more than ever. At present, there is around only 10% as much business travel as there would usually be. That number has declined over the recent months as spikes in Coronavirus have happened across the globe. Even so, while businesses will eventually resume travels for things like conferences and sales, reports indicate that digital technology will be eating some of the travel industry’s lunch.
At present, the expectation is that less than 70% of pre-Coronavirus business travel will occur even after things have “returned to normal.” Some of this will come in the form of cutting down in person meetings, or eliminating them completely, opting for digital meetings on sites like Zoom or Google Meet. The area likely to take the biggest hit is trips after a sale is made. Most of these trips have the potential to become digital meetings, saving workers the time and companies money.
Making the sale
The part of airline travel that will become the most predominant in the business sector is traveling for sales. Projections indicate this will make up about a quarter of all business trips in the coming years. This offers a unique opportunity for airlines to compete for those travelers by offering bundle deals and improved rewards programs, targeting those individuals specifically.
In addition, with commuting by airline and existing customer support making up another 15% of airline travel, airlines will need to look more carefully into how their services can be offered. With things as they are now, leisure travel is consistently uncertain, but business travel has and always will be a constant.