Is business travel going to boom or bust?
Given conflicting reports of what the global business travel market will do in the coming years, Go Native has a look at what could happen
The business travel market is one of the most complicated and unpredictable in the world. Future predictions can vary from one week to the next and then actually turn out to be totally different to what anything in the past has predicted.
This is why many at Go Native are confused by conflicting reports about signs of recovery but also reports saying that there will be less business travel in the next 12 months. Which is true though?
Both seem to show weighty evidence for their findings, the increase in airline profits is a clear and tangible indicator that the industry is improving (at least for the time being). Whilst a Deloitte survey suggests that travellers themselves believe that they will make fewer trips.
One of the main issues that commentators have noted is that with innovations in technology, in the next 10 years the industry is expected to shrink by 30%, however how quickly will this begin given the strong Q3 results of airlines globally?
A report delivered by Deloitte asked 4,000 business travellers if they expected to travel less in 2011, and just over half said that they were predicting a decline in the time they spend travelling for business.
One of the reasons that many have given is that the recently announced public funding cuts in the UK will decrease the numbers of international business travellers doing business in Britain and will also see fewer people from British companies doing business abroad. As London is one of the global hubs for finance this could see a knock-on effect across Europe.
In addition to this a growing awareness of environmental issues as the concepts of CSR (Corporate and Social Responsibility) become more important in the consciousness of company directors means that where there is a choice between travelling and conducting a meeting via conferencing technology, conferencing technology is more likely to prevail.
But what does this mean for the Serviced Apartment industry and accommodation industry in general? There has been a slight increase in the percentage of business travellers using hotels around the world, which may show a willingness to stay in a location and conduct multiple business commitments whilst there. Which if it continues is a positive outlook for accommodation providers.
Perhaps then there could be a viable alternative to both. Although conferencing technology has come a long way and will undoubtedly improve in the future, it will still not have the same weight and personal touch as meeting a client or partner in person. Perhaps then to fulfil sound business practices and also CSR issues, staying in an area for longer periods of time and conducting multiple meetings is a viable alternative.
If this was the case then although the numbers of business trips (ie time spent travelling from one area to another) may fall, the actual amount of business that was conducted would stay at around the same level.
The perfect accommodation option for this would be Serviced Apartments as they offer long term or short term housing solutions, whilst also giving flexibility. If Go Native could help with any accommodation solutions during a business trip, please Contact Us to see if we can help.