Business travelers are coming out of the Covid-19 epidemic with a “more environmentally conscious mindset” that could affect the return of travel to the pre-Covid level.
A panel of industry figures told delegates at the Business Travel Show Europe in London on Wednesday (June 29th) that employees are now more interested in more sustainable travel.
Amy Taylor, Senior Director Product Strategy at SAP Concours, said her research found that “other factors were involved in deciding whether to travel or not” in which more travelers were willing to refuse travel because they felt “burned” or were unsustainable on the route. Couldn’t.
Taylor added, “They are willing to extend their travel for a longer period of time if they can travel more sustainably – switching from plane to train where it is possible.”
The panel said it was “difficult” to predict whether travel volumes would reach pre-epidemic levels by 2022, with travel costs rising sharply for many services.
There was also a “very mixed” picture among buyers: a snap poll found that 38 percent had already surpassed the 2019 level but 26 percent were still less than 50 percent on pre-coupled flights.
Michael Regel, general manager, Europe, TripActions, says travel is “coming back massively” this year, although the type of travel has changed and remote staff now have to travel to meet with their team.
He added that sustainability was an “issue for next year”, with clients already spending more time looking at their carbon emissions data on TripAction’s dashboard. TMC has seen “behavioral changes” among customers using trains instead of flights for some journeys.
Buyers were advised not to rely on 2019 price comparisons for flights and other services as inflation was pushing up rates across the industry.
Pascal Jangfar, CEO of Another Consulting, said he expected about 30 percent of travel volume to go “off the table” because people rely more on video calls instead.
He advised companies not to impose “strict rules” on whether trips should go ahead.
“It’s hard to impose strict rules because it can be very strict. At the end of the day, traveling or traveling with people is a business decision – the decision to travel will always be a management decision,” Jangfar said. “But you have to have guidelines to help people.”