The coronavirus pandemic has turned the world upside down in 2020 and impacted just about every aspect of life. One of the most heavily impacted areas has been travel for both business and leisure. Travel restrictions and regulations for quarantine upon arrival had brought international travel to a standstill – but how will business travel move forward?
Businesses Having to Adapt
The restrictions and bans on international travel have really taken their toll, particularly for businesses that rely heavily on travel. It has been a challenging period for many businesses that have had to adapt, but most will be keen to get back to normality as soon as possible, as many favour face-to-face interaction over video conferencing.
Recent news of a vaccine development suggests that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that things could start to return to normal in 2021. While things look positive, there is still a lot more to be done and it will take a long time for the majority of people to be vaccinated.
Consequently, looking forward it seems likely that there will be mandatory testing prior to flights for a while to prevent international transmission. While this is not ideal, it is an important safety measure that will help to protect both individual and public health while still allowing people to fly for professional or leisure purposes.
In addition to this, companies will also have to find ways to adapt when sending employees on business trips. Understandably, there will be a lot of anxiety around being in large groups of people which could still be advised against for a while. Consequently, businesses may start to substitute busy hotels and restaurants with serviced apartments in Singapore and takeaway, for example, to provide safety and comfort during times of uncertainty.
Will Business Travel Recover?
It is the opinion of some that business travel will never return in the same manner even once the pandemic has ended. While coronavirus may well have changed business travel for good, studies suggest that business travel will pick up again although it may take some time. Business travel can bring many perks and is an essential facet of business in some industries. Plus, you only have to look at other major disruptions in modern history, such as the 9/11 attacks and the global financial crisis, both of which recovered despite many predicting that they would end business travel.
It has been a devastating year for the travel industry with many businesses struggling without being able to send employees abroad. While it may be a long road back, it seems likely that business travel will recover and the hopes of vaccination beginning next year will hopefully help this to be sooner rather than later.