Globetrender’s recent survey of 2,000 regular business travellers found that despite the increase in video-calling, the majority of people still believe that face-to-face meetings are preferable.
It’s our universal desire to connect with fellow humans that matters – be it for business or for pleasure. And that is why business travel will do more than survive in the long term.
The travel and hospitality sector has adapted to everything that has happened and we’ll adapt to everything that will happen ahead.
All you have to do is ask hoteliers. As Philip Chambers, General Manager at the K+K George Hotel Kensington told Amplify Travel & Tourism magazine, “We are working hard to create hospitality products that encourage the business traveller to spend more time with us. We will emerge from the current crisis with the energy and creativity which has kept it growing for more than a century.”
Themes for 2021
I look forward to travelling for business but believe that it will be less frequent and more intense. Business travellers like me will need to justify their travel for commercial, personal and ethical reasons in a way never seen before.
We will still need to meet new clients, build the foundations for future relationships, and complete complex deals and projects. But we will have to justify the business case for travel and assure our partners and families that the work cannot be done any other way – or take them with us.
We also need to think if a journey justifies the carbon footprint it creates.
Longer stays will be more popular. After the initial shock of Covid-19, we embraced working from home, spending more time with our families and getting involved with our communities. We swapped the commute for exercise and well-being – and theoretically had more time to do the things we love, because we spent less time commuting.
I think a new synthesis will emerge from all of these strands that offers business people the best of both worlds – a flexible work-world, and time to enjoy business tourism with the blessing of the companies that we work for.
Vinnie specialises in digital transformation through marketing automation and demand generation strategies. His work on decentralised content marketing systems across Europe and Asia Pacific has made him a client favourite.