august 18, 2022

THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY IS UNDERESTIMATING COMPANIES ABILITY TO DEVELOP AND LEARN

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Er du klar til at give mig mulighed for at hjælpe dig med jeres forretningsrejser? - DK

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Ole Hammer Mortensen

Ole Hammer Mortensen

We gather knowledge from around the world and bring it to you and your business - ENG

Ole Hammer Mortensen

Ole Hammer Mortensen

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Recently GBTA made public a survey that showed business travel would return to 2019 figures of 1,4 trillion USD in 2026. Total spending in 2021 were just below 700 billion USD, a 5% increase from 2020. Part of the increase is due to higher average fares.

Now is the time for a wakeup call!!!

My postulation is that business travel will never return to the same numbers of trips as in 2019.

I have four reasons to postulate this:

  1. Inflation may have an impact on the amount of USD spent in the coming 2-3 years.
  2. The move towards video conferencing has just begun. The lessons learned during the Covid-19 period is valuable to all kinds of businesses. The expectation of going back to F2F meeting and doing business makes no sense after huge contracts between businesses have been signed during Covid-19 and few companies got the experience of losing business because of less physical meetings and conferences.
  3. The future is just around the corner and will bring much more products on the market. Currently the 3 elephants (Microsoft, Google, and Meta) are pouring billions of USD into Metaverse models both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. This will within this decade mean you (through your personal Avatar) be able to meet anywhere almost as if you are there physical. This also will happen in distance work through local workforce.
  4. Physical travel has become more dangerous and riskier (maybe perceived). The destruction of doing business globally and bring it home to regions or countries nearer to home, will grow. The coming generations have a narrower comfort zone and have different values compared to the boomers. They also rely much more on technology.

Will there be physical travel? Of course!

Companies will need more local, regional, and global meetings to their own employees in order to learn, teach, talk, listen and be together socially.

Cultures will also have an impact, but recently Ukraine fugitives have started to work in pairs with a Dane and they use Google translate to communicate with each other, and it works!

Is this the end of business travel?

No! Companies are constantly looking for growth, development, new ideas and entering new business sectors. This will correspond into “new” physical business travel and eventually growth in number of trips. However, the business travel for existing business will go down once the companies get their act together after 2 years of closed borders, now war and increased animosity between the big powers.

What we need to do as an industry is to learn and act. Employees should not be hired because they know inputs to ancient mainframe language from Global Distribution Systems, but they are the best to search the markets, suppliers and deliver extraordinary service when required by a customer in need.

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