The Daunting Task of Getting Businesses To Travel Again

As the bad news for airlines and hotels continue, we thought it would make sense to look at who is the business traveler? Who exactly are these road warriors which normally help to keep the lights on for airlines, hotels and restaurants around the world?  

As it turns out, the business traveler is someone who puts on miles, racks up nights, and uses their expenses account as part of doing their job. Before the COVID-19 outbreak travel was routine. But it isn’t anymore, and if they don’t have to travel they won’t. That’s why the travel industry faces the daunting task of getting businesses to travel again.

A recent survey showed that a majority of corporate travelers travel out of preference not necessity.

Business travelers felt more comfortable closing deals in person and meeting colleagues face-to-face. They attended conferences and trade shows because they wanted to. In other words, they didn’t necessarily have to travel to do their job, they just thought travel helped them work better.

However in the age of free video conferencing, Skype and FaceTime, this is changing. After 9/11 video conferencing wasn’t nearly as cost-effective or widespread and so people naturally began to return to travel for work. But this time, technology has changed that and things are different.

When this resolves, it will take a lot of convincing to get businesses traveling again.  To underscore how large this is, we turned to the Business Travel News which tracks the largest corporate travel spenders. As you can see in the top 35, these are large corporations which will take their time in moving back to regular business mode. That is assuming they do.

Top 35 Corporate Travel Spenders