The Evolution of Business Travel

Business travel as we know it today has only existed for around the last thirty years or so. Now it seems every industry is international and every business is striving to compete by extending their reach around the globe.  

Modern technology is helping even the smallest of companies do this, but a great many companies still embrace the personal touch and send their employees overseas in an attempt to build a relationship in the traditional face to face way. 

Over the years the business travel industry has changed rapidly. Here are some of the things that have helped shape it into where it is today and will continue to shape it as they evolve in the future. 

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Low Cost Airlines 

New airlines are entering the market all the time and bring with them some of the most streamlined and efficient practices in the market. As they enter the industry the competitors take notice and prices continue to drop. 

These low cost airlines are enabling employers to continue to send their employees abroad to seek new business. Without them the practice would probably be cost prohibitive. 

Paperless Documentation 

OK, so most of us still carry a passport, a ticket and a boarding pass onto an aircraft, not to mention a visa in some cases. But it’s plain to see that this is changing.  

Most of these things have digital options and in the future these will continue to replace the paper-driven processes that increase the preparation time required for any kind of travel. 

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Faster Security 

As above, these are improving through things such as facial recognition and biometric scans which will likely replace the need for passports in the future. This will allow draconian, time consuming security measures to be toned down whilst more reliable countermeasures replace them. 

Greater Flight Options 

The options available for the business traveller to access international routes have never been wider. You can now fly direct to destinations that only twenty years ago would take days to reach even after a gruelling international flight. The world of potential business is as a consequence far wider. 

You also have a wider range of options in terms of amenities too. You can choose between multiple airlines on the same route, choosing the one that offers the most legroom, the best movies or the tastiest food if you want. 

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Safer Air Travel 

In 2017 there was not a single passenger jet crash anywhere in the world. This is despite the fact that more flights were made that year than in any other year in history. 

Aviation deaths have been falling for twenty years and it has been estimated that there is only one fatal accident occurring for every 16 million flights. Although air travel is something that makes a lot of people nervous it is indisputably the safest way to travel. No other industry is so regulated when it comes to safety and this is obviously welcoming news to the regular business traveller. 

Better Connections 

Of course you don’t have to travel by air for every business trip, there’s plenty of options on the ground too. These have vastly improved over the years and look set to continue to improve in the future. 

The Channel Tunnel linking England and France is a great example. Since 1994 the island of Great Britain has been connected to mainland Europe giving it access to a number of capital cities. It also gives the rest of Europe access to London, one of the financial giants of the world. 

The Channel Tunnel is in many cases a quicker option than flying from London to Paris too. 

In the future, technology such as HyperLoop is expected to reduce travel times considerably. The predicted travel time between LA and Las Vegas is predicted to be 30 minutes, against three and a half hours in an aeroplane. 

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More Accommodation Options 

This is something that has changed beyond all recognition in the last five years. The continued rise of companies such as Airbnb has led people to realise that there are far more options out there for accommodation than just staying in a hotel room. 

If we think about it, we have our homes with multiple rooms, including a separate room to relax in, a separate room to sleep in, a room to wash in and a room to cook in. We then go away on holiday or a business trip and we have to cram all of those things into one or two small rooms. We’ve done it for years. Why?! 

Not only are we now able to rent space in someone’s house, there are also corporate accommodation providers which can offer private serviced apartments in cities across the world 

What’s not to like?! 

As this trend continues we can only wonder at what move hotels might make next to protect their businesses? Whatever it is it can only be good news for the business traveller.

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