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April 13, 2020

Top Business Travel News This Week: April 13

Samantha Shankman
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News
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The question was never if, but when business travel will return. As the shock of a near-global shutdown passes, the industry quickly got to work and started asking the big questions around how we emerge stronger, more sustainably, and with the technology and human compassion to propel forward in the next decade.

It is a conversation happening in private Zoom calls and Slack messages around the world, but we’re most excited by the visibility these movements gain when shared and discussed on the TripAction Community Forum. Our colleagues and partners are breaking down the boundaries of working from home by joining our international Office Hours to collaborate on the most pressing issues. We’re inspired by the emphasis put on ensuring traveler health and safety as well as the pragmatism of those leaders that are thinking ahead to when business travel inevitably resumes.

Travel leaders aren’t just asking what the future of business travel will look like -- they’re playing an active role in crafting it to ensure everyone is best prepared for the future post COVID-19.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on the evolving situation, please look to the WHO Situation Reports and CDC. You can also find the latest on the TripActions Community and within the coronavirus report in the TripActions Admin Dashboard.

You can check out past weekly news roundups here. Now, here’s the top news of the week:

What Does the Future of Business Travel Look Like? [The Points Guy]

On April 1, the TSA screened 136,023 passengers at airport checkpoints nationwide — a 94% drop in passengers from the same date one year ago. TPG editor Richard Kerr outlines his expectation for how business travel will be forever changed by recent events.

“The positive effects of a meal, a social event or another live function can’t be fully replaced by technology, and that means business travel will always be necessary…” he concludes, as do we.

The Corporate Travel Startups Breaking Through the Crisis [Skift]

Corporate travel startups are taking advantage of their agility and using new technologies to plot their next move. Startup club Voyager HQ held its inaugural “Corporate Travel Pitch Night” late last month to confront the pandemic’s effect on business travel head on — with hope to spare. Tales from inside the industry suggest that executive leaders are taking time to consider what business travel will look like in the future and how we might change long-held industry beliefs. The entrepreneurial spirit is turning the crisis into an opportunity for a healthier corporate travel community when we emerge.

Travel to Resume ‘Within Three Months,’ Finds GBTA Survey [TravelWeekly]

A GBTA survey conducted at the start of April found that 51% of respondents foresee a corporate travel resuming within three months, 32% expect two months, and 19% estimate one more month. Two-thirds of the near 1,000 respondents said they expect at least some employees will be willing to travel when restrictions are raised. The survey includes other figures which are worth considering as GBTA’s community has a firm grasp on corporate travel.

GBTA Moves Annual Convention to November [BTN]

The Global Business Travel Association moved its annual convention from July 2020 to November 2020. It is the first time in the convention’s 52-year history that the organisers have postponed the original date. Its delay underlines how the travel industry continues to adapt to current events while continuing to plan for a brighter future.

This Too Shall Pass - But Travel Will Need to Adjust [PhocusWire]

According to the UNWTO forecasts from earlier this year, international tourist arrivals were expected to grow by 4% in 2020 —which is not as great as the growth seen in 2017 (7%) and 2018 (6%), but enough to fuel the tourism industry. This opinion piece from the a director of business development at a South African travel company examines which segments of travel will recover the fastest and why.

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