There’s no question that business travel has been impacted by COVID-19. And as vaccination rates rise across the world, we eagerly await the return of this segment of our business! We know we aren’t alone in that fact, especially since it added $791 billion to the economy and sustained 5 million jobs in 2019 alone (U.S. Travel Association President and CEO, Roger Dow). However, many questions still remain about the future of the executive luxury transportation industry and how long it will take to return to numbers that rival the ones pre-COVID.
Unfortunately, the 75% decline in spending within this segment of our industry won’t go back to normal overnight. According to a projection from Tourism Economics, “business travel won't fully recover to 2019 levels of either spend or number of trips until 2024.”
In terms of International travel, guidelines vary from country to country and are subject to change at any point. Vaccination, testing, and quarantining rules are different depending on each country’s current situation, making travel more complicated to coordinate and solidify than normal.
So what does this mean for the industry? The U.S. Travel Association has come up with a series of ideas that will help revitalize this industry at a faster pace. These ideas range from marketing campaigns that “communicate the difference between professionally managed meeting and events and large gatherings” to requests to clarify federal guidelines in order to remind travelers of our ability to implement more health and safety measures due to the organized and structured nature of our events.
There are still a myriad of changes that will happen over the upcoming months and years, but we are hopeful that the in-person meetings and events industry will be revitalized soon!