The coronavirus pandemic has unfortunately wreaked havoc on traveling both in the United States and abroad. Countries months ago barred air traffic from outside of their borders and closed down their airports temporarily in an effort to keep the coronavirus from spreading. Today, countries are still trying to keep COVID-19 at bay, but business travel is slowly rebounding. The question is, how strong is it, and will we ever return to our pre–COVID-19 travel situation? Business expert Brian Ferdinand elaborated on the state of business travel in a recently published article.
BUSINESS TRAVEL AND THE PANDEMIC
According to Brian Ferdinand in the recent article, a Global Business Travel Association survey in April 2020 indicated that 98% of businesses in its association had canceled just about all of their global business trips. In addition, 92% cancelled domestic travel.
As you can imagine, with business travel coming to a screeching halt, revenue loss was virtually instantaneous for airlines and other industries and businesses linked to travel. For instance, travel agencies lost business. The loss of business among rental car companies and hotels was also part of the financially devastating domino effect brought on by the halting of global and domestic travel.
Of course, local economies also took a hit. This was especially the case for economies that depend heavily on travelers, both personal ones and business ones.
MORE ON THE TRAVEL SITUATION GLOBALLY
The Global Business Travel Association recently emphasized that about 445 million trips take place every year for business purposes. This translates to around $345 billion yearly in the form of meeting expenditures as well as travel expenditures. This is why global and domestic travel is so important from an economic standpoint, according to Ferdinand.
Fortunately, economies are beginning to reopen now, albeit slowly. Of course, valid concerns remain about engaging in a lot of unnecessary travel right now, as no vaccine has yet been introduced publicly. In addition, people are concerned about the arrival of second or third waves of the virus due to spikes in the reported number of COVID-19 cases. On top of this, some business travelers simply don’t want to be bothered with having to constantly wear masks and practice social distancing, especially during lengthy trips.
Nonetheless, many players in the corporate travel industry are hoping that even though business travel may not be as free spirited as it used to be, it will keep going—as strongly as possible—in the months ahead.