So many people used to spend more than 80% of their time travelling. Since the pandemic breakthrough, the same people are delighted to no longer spend most of their life travelling for work.
The end of an era of corporate travel is real. This is of course bad news for the airlines, hotels and conference centres that rely on this business. On the other side it is actually a good heritage from the pandemic.
So what are actually the benefits of reducing business travel ?
Margin optimization for companies
Before pandemic, airlines were the most to benefit from business travel. In fact, companies are more likely to book at short notice and are willing to pay more for convenient times.
U.S. spending on corporate travel is expected to only reach 25%–35% of 2019 levels by the fourth quarter of 2021, and 65%–80% a year later, according to a Deloitte survey of 150 travel managers.
As life is coming back to normal, companies are not willing yet to give up on the the cost savings they have realized.
Reduction of carbon footprint
There is an urge to do something for the planet, specially after the alarming report from the last IPCC report. Companies are therefore looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. One of them is to adjust their business travel policy to decrease their environmental impact within the next year.
Zurich Insurance Group shared new climate measures that would cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by a fifth — or more than 40,000 tonnes per year — by 2025. Besides reducing business travel, they are planning to switch to only electric or hybrid vehicles, reducing paper use by communicating digitally with clients, and adopting new energy efficiency targets for real estate.
Anyhow, travel policies will work to balance cost with environmental impact. If not cutting off travel for business then proposing the lowest cost direct flight rather than a cheaper indirect flight with higher carbon emissions.
While meeting clients is seen as the top reason to continue travel for business, internal meetings and trainings are more likely to stay online. In person meetings are still very valuable for some businesses and they are not ready to give it up. However the urge to reduce the carbon footprint is real. Companies will think twice before booking a business trip for their employees compared to before the pandemic.