Pundits make predictions as a matter of trade; often their predictions pan out while other times their predictions are wildly off. A common indulgence in these circles is to suggest the demise of companies or entire industries early, reminding us of Mark Twain’ apocryphal quip that “reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
One such victim of hyperbole is Business Travel. As the pandemic set in and organizations pivoted to virtual work, many suggested that business travel was going to die. With virtual collaboration tools spreading like wildfire and “work from home” taking over as the paradigm in many industries, things looked grim. Airlines and hospitality companies applied for resuscitation via loans and grants from governments and many organizations not only reduced travel, they banned it outright. Times were unprecedented and business leaders reacted as best they could given the circumstances.
What a difference two years makes! Reports abound about jam-packed airports, busy executive travel schedules, and the resumption of in-person events, meetings, and other confabs. Rising fares and hotel rates have not dampened demand. Executives have realized that just as many fared decently during the pandemic, that commerce, trade, and collaboration suffered greatly as the result of the lack of face-time.
More than simply, “not dying” business travel is back with a vengeance. In the ITILITE experience, we have not seen a headier time for our customers and partners with regard to business travel. Now, we all understand that with increases in these activities, come complexities. Dealing with those complexities is our number-one job, but the data do not lie: reports of business travel’s death were greatly exaggerated.
To be plain, Business Travel is a $1 trillion industry. Such numbers are staggering. The number will likely grow to approximately $1.5 trillion in just two years. To create opportunities, choices, efficiencies, and user satisfaction in this massive industry must be the goal of all companies involved in the facilitation and management of travel and expense management.
The predictions of sunset have given way to a beautiful sunrise. At ITILITE, we hope to play an important role in this recovery. We look forward to participating in this journey.