Will Business Travel Ever Come Back?

By Michael Ferguson

Business travel has been an integral part of many industries for decades. It has provided a way for companies to expand their reach, while also enabling professionals to gain valuable experience in different cities and countries.

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, this type of travel has been largely put on hold. With social distancing regulations and restrictions on large gatherings, it is difficult for businesses to travel for meetings or conferences in the same way they used to.

The impact of the pandemic on business travel has been significant. In a survey conducted by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), 56% of businesses reported that their business travel spend had decreased substantially due to Covid-19. This number is likely to continue to grow as restrictions remain in place and people become more hesitant about travelling.

One thing that could help revive business travel is if companies are able to find ways to replicate the experiences that they would have had if they had travelled. Virtual conferences, webinars and video conferencing have all become more popular during the pandemic as a way of connecting with colleagues and clients without having to leave home. These digital tools can help bridge some of the gaps that have been created by not being able to physically meet with people, but they can’t replace everything.

Another potential solution is for businesses to invest in technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). AI and ML can be used in a variety of ways, from automating mundane tasks such as booking flights or hotels, to providing analytics so that companies can make better decisions about their travel plans. This could help reduce some of the costs associated with business travel while still allowing companies to achieve their goals.


It remains uncertain whether business travel will ever come back fully after the pandemic ends. However, with advances in technology such as AI and ML, there may be ways for companies to reduce costs associated with travelling while still achieving their goals. It will likely take some time before business travel returns fully but it may be possible for companies to begin gradually reintroducing it when it is safe enough.