Even though traveling is getting more and more expensive, there is a growth in business travel. According to a survey conducted by Barclaycard, 78% of business people traveled the same or more in 2006 than in 2005. Some 50% of business travelers reported that they had taken more journeys covering more miles in the last year. The majority of business trips are still confined within the UK or Western Europe. Only 10% of participants said that Eastern Europe was a frequent destination and 6% had traveled regularly to China.
Seventy nine percent of those on the move claim that travel benefits their jobs. One in five business passengers traveled more than 500 miles per week in 2006 and 16% of them exceeded one thousand miles per week. Business people claim that personal meetings are essential. Many of them use communication technologies such as video conferences, but personal contacts still represent a very important part of business. As the market expands business people travel more.
Environmentalists are disappointed. In a way business class passenger “creates” some 50 percent more emissions than his fellow in economy class. This is because there is more space in the business class and fewer people. Environmental campaigners would prefer businessmen and businesswomen to use advanced techniques of mediated communications. Environmentalists are also worried about the impact of continuous overall growth in air travel as the number of air travelers is expected to double by 2025, rising to more than 9 billion a year.
The European Union proposed to set carbon dioxide emission quotas for airlines starting in 2011. This EU carbon emissions trading scheme is aimed to reduce the production of carbon dioxide that is causing global warming.