How Will Business Travel Change In The Future?

While business travel has been back in place longer than leisure and is often classified essential amongst authorities, full normality has yet to resume amongst the industry. When it does, a ‘new normal’ is likely to prevail.

We have already seen return requirements ease for travellers re-entering the UK as vaccination rates increase. For example, lateral flow tests are now being accepted in place of costly full PCR tests. The question is, what’s next for those globe-trotting for professional purposes?

Increased Swift Testing

The UK’s vaccination rollout has seen almost 68% of the total population receive at least one ‘jab’ in the fight against coronavirus. Free lateral flow tests available on the NHS have helped safeguard communities.

Lateral flow tests are able to provide either a positive or negative result for the presence of the Covid-19 pathogens (for most current strains). It can do this within 15 minutes, making it one of the fastest and most cost-effective test efforts.

With PCR tests, which have their results fully analysed and produced in a laboratory environment, they can take over 24 hours to provide a conclusive result for travellers. As they take much longer, it is likely that we’ll see an increase in swifter testing methods becoming more accepted amongst travellers.

Lateral flow tests are not currently available for free on all public healthcare services globally. However, they are increasing in popularity amongst private healthcare specialist firms.

Increased Vaccination Requirements

There has been much debate around the mandatory requirements for vaccinations against coronavirus, to allow entry and passage across borders. Many countries have long required an ICVP (International Certificate of Vaccination and Prophylaxis), to prove protection against Yellow Fever and other viruses.

We can expect to see more countries require not just coronavirus vaccinations to be administered to those entering their territory, but also for them to be of a particular brand or strain. For example, the US does not currently accept the AstraZeneca vaccine that has been rolled out in the UK. This means that those who have received this vaccine instead of the Pfizer or Moderna variation may find themselves restricted travel-wise.

Accelerated Appetites For Events

It has been years since exhibitions, trade shows, and other professional events took place ‘normally’. This means that many businesses are now keen to get back to exhibiting and networking the way they’ve found so beneficial previously.

As workers return to offices and the events industry is able to resume, it is increasingly likely that countries will look to pilot events and grant professional visas to those working at and attending them. Business events will be prioritised in the future and will help galvanise the professional sector across numerous destinations.

Online Options As Standard

While more events will undoubtedly happen, in turn, they will encourage travel. Online alternatives that have served in their place for so long during enforced lockdowns are also expected to continue.

Those unable or unwilling to travel will still have the expectation for live-streamed services. These are likely to remain alongside face-to-face interactions moving forward. This provides not just increased sustainability credentials for those running events, but also better accessibility options for attendees.

So much has changed already in the business travel sector, and so much is still left to change. Together, we can look to work safer, better and more efficiently – helping us embark on the ‘new normal’ for business, and perhaps never again using the term ‘business as usual.