|Travel—for both business and leisure—worldwide has virtually come to a standstill during the coronavirus pandemic. At this point, nobody knows when it will come back. Whenever that time comes though, travel will certainly be different than it was before. Airports, airlines, hotels, and car rental companies will likely be taking new precautions as companies start greenlighting travel for business purposes.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) estimates that the coronavirus potentially costs the travel industry $46.6 billion each month as people stay home. A GBTA survey found that employers canceled or suspended nearly all previously booked or planned international business travel. Ninety-two percent of respondents said all or most domestic business travel had been canceled or suspended.
After months of no traveling or not being in the office, there may be a pent-up desire to travel. Business travelers often are known to grumble about frequent travel and living out of a suitcase, but after the coronavirus pandemic, there’s a chance everyone is looking forward to the opportunity to pack a carry-on bag or book a red-eye flight.
Right now, it’s a waiting game as states and employers move into recovery mode from COVID-19. Safety is going to be the main priority for all travelers. Therefore, decision-makers should lean on travel advisories from the Centers for Disease and Prevention and the World Health Organization. Companies will do well to err on the side of caution and keep in mind that it’s not just the destination, but the trip itself where business travelers are at risk for exposure.