Is there such a thing as easy business travel or is it just a hassle with bustling airport delays, expensive trains, late buses or crazy taxis. It seems likely that less people will be travelling across the country for business in the future and it’s not for those reasons surprisingly.
In 2008 Fast Company magazine stated that business travel is becoming far less frequent because of the rising prices in fuel and the constant innovation in video technology like teleconferencing used between businesses, business travel seems to be in decline.
Teleconferencing has become rather popular within corporations today. This allows businesses to conduct meetings locally, regionally, nationally and internationally without even leaving the office, this also reduces travel costs for the business and the stress of travelling for the employees. With teleconferencing, meetings can be scheduled hours or even minutes before the conference meeting whereas business travel needs to be booked and organised days or weeks beforehand.
Unfortunately teleconferencing comes with its disadvantages. Technical failures can hinder teleconferencing at the exact time the meeting is supposed to begin. Interpersonal communications can be affected as it is difficult to build a rapport between your colleagues through a television screen and it can be viewed as being quite impersonal. If your business is all about building relationships and trust with your clients or other businesses, travel may be your only option.
However this doesn’t seem to affect some airlines future plans, as low cost airline carrier, Easyjet in the March/April 2012 issue of The Business Travel Magazine is aiming to increase its percentage of corporate customers from 16-18% to 22-23% in the next 3 years according to CEO Carolyn McCall. Easyjet are hoping that higher frequencies, extra baggage allowances and allocated seating will help attract corporate travellers without the need for providing them with special food or a special seating area, because an average Easyjet flight time is one and a half hours.
Corporate travel, according to Stewart Harvey, in the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of The Business Travel Magazine, has changed from a service that enables clients to make travel arrangements into a business process in its own right. He believes we should simplify corporate travel as he states the purpose of the trip is to meet colleagues/business partners and conduct business not hang around airports, hotels, hire a car or book a taxi. Is it because travel is a lot more complex with more and more people taking flights everyday just take a look at flightradar24.com and see for yourself the amount of aeroplanes flying right across the globe, the majority of these are passenger carriers carrying an average of 150 passengers on board.
In an article published by Travel Daily UK, Corporate traveller UK’s general manager, Graeme Milne business travellers to cut costs in 2012, states that corporate travellers are likely to degrade from business class to premium economy seating and may avoid travelling to destinations with high airport tax in an effort to cut costs for the company. Companies will also look at airlines that offer the frequent flyer advantages in a bid to cut costs.
The ever changing travel industry is a place where fares and rates are linked to demand so the prices are always going to change. What we need to look at whether or not a trip to the airport is worth it. According to Stewart Harvey, group commercial director at HRG if it’s to clinch a multimillion dollar deal the answer would probably be yes, if not then it may likely be a no.
For the time being our airports and public transport will be busy with corporate travellers, not that were complaining as they bring business to our local hotels and serviced apartments whenever their business trip takes more than a day.