The travel journey still has clear ‘inconsistencies’ and for corporate travellers that is a significant hurdle to overcome

The travel experience has changed dramatically and that transformation remains a major impediment to the vital return of the hospitality and air transport industries. While there has been a pent up demand for leisure travel, business travel is floundering leaving many to question just when it will bounce back.

At the offset of the global pandemic we had all remained pretty confident that the second half of 2020 could be that time, with initial small steps, but as the year progresses that feeling is subsiding for many. Many events that were initially pushed from 1H to 2H are now subsequently being cancelled or moved exclusively online as many in this space write off 2020 from a physical meeting standing at least.

The International Air Transport Association’s chief economist Brian Pearce said this week that it still “remains to be seen” whether pre-Covid-19 business travel patterns will return, and he acknowledged that the association is worried that it will not actually given that for “many network airlines, the premium-paying passengers were essentially the ones who drove the profitability”.

Speaking during the last Corporate Travel Community (CTC) Masterclass entitled ‘Understanding the new business travel journey‘, American Express Digital Labs VP strategy and innovation Johnny Thorsen said that “inconsistencies throughout the journey” regarding health and safety protocols and requirements for travellers are not ideal for helping the industry’s rebound.

The travel technology evangelist has first-hand experience of the traveller journey having flown from California back to his Danish homeland to celebrate a family birthday milestone as the pandemic was subsiding in Europe. He found that navigating long haul travel in the age of Covid-19 raises a host of potential roadblocks.

He said airports particularly need to improve their communication to ensure travellers have up to date, real time information. Mr Thorsen called for “a reliable communication process” and common terms and protocols across airports, airlines and hotels and suggested the development of new corporate travel systems to enable the sharing of personal traveller feedback.

According to Mr Thorsen said such systems would enable the sharing of knowledge, personal experiences and “real time reliable information” about the current situation in locations such as airports and hotels and would reassure any concerns.

READ MORE via The Blue Swan DailyThe travel journey still has clear ‘inconsistencies’ and for corporate travellers that is a significant hurdle to overcome