Larry Brain - Nov 15, 2021
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After almost two years of online meetings, business travel is picking up again. More and more countries are relaxing the entry requirements and the desire to meet business partners in person again is on the rise. However, the business travel sector has been transformed due to the pandemic. Tourism Review introduces top current trends in business travel identified by industry experts.

Security Upgrade: Higher Booking Classes

The need for safety has increased. Sufficient distance from other passengers is one example of this. Many companies now allow higher booking classes in their travel policies, for example, business class on airplanes or first class on trains. Direct connections are also increasingly being booked in order to avoid changing planes and thus further contacts. Many employers are aware that their duty of care means they are responsible for the health of their employees and must ensure adequate protection against illness and accidents during the business trips.

More Train and Car Use for Business Travel

The change in the preferred mode of transport, which is already evident in private travel, is also one of the trends in business travel. In a non-representative survey on Linkedin in Germany, 45 percent said they currently preferred to travel on business within Germany by car - the risk of infection is correspondingly lowest here. The second place went to travel by train, which was chosen by 38 percent of respondents. Only 13 percent preferred domestic flights, while 4 percent chose rental cars.

Bleisure: Combine Business Trip with Private Trip

This trend started even before the pandemic. People who travel to beautiful places on business don't want to miss the opportunity to see more than just the conference room there. Combining business trips with remote work is also becoming more common. In this case, the trip is partly used for appointments with customers or business partners, and partly work is done on site from the remote office - coworking spaces make it possible. They offer the employees optimal working conditions from anywhere in the world.

Sustainability in Focus

As a result of the environmental discussions in politics and society, ecological aspects are also coming more into focus for business travel. Many large corporations have already imposed strict requirements on the annual CO2 emissions for the company. Accordingly, this budget also includes business trips for the entire year. This is why, for example, rail travel is increasingly being booked or trips are being planned in such a way that several appointments can be combined. According to a recent study, 77 percent of respondents said they would increasingly plan business trips with sustainability in mind in the future.

Dress Code Becomes Casual

The look of business travelers is also changing. The trend in business travel is clearly toward a more casual dress code on business trips. Analogous to work in the office, less and less importance is being attached to a strict dress code for customer meetings. Even in more conservative environments, the tie is no longer a must and the suit can be combined with a chic pair of sneakers. Even jeans and a full beard are rarely no-goes anymore.

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