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Business travel encouraged

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Business travel encouraged for economy recovery

Business travel plays a significant role in Australia’s travel industry. When the pandemic hit in March of 2020, business travel rapidly declined and currently remains far from pre-COVID levels. Now that Australia is demonstrating more consistency in controlling and maintaining COVID-19 cases, SMEs are being encouraged to resume business travel.

Business travel encouraged for economy recovery
Tom Walley, General Manager at Corporate Traveller Australia

According to research conducted by Boston Consulting Group, business travel accounts for approximately 40 per cent of Australian domestic travel. It brings in around 50 to 60 percent of the revenue for domestic travel. Business travel is an essential part of the travel sector and provides many benefits for the travel industry and other areas of Australia’s economy.

Tom Walley is the General Manager at Corporate Traveller Australia, the SME travel division of Flight Centre Travel Group. He has a deep understanding of SME travel behaviours and knows the importance and needs of this sector, particularly concerning Australia’s economic and business travel recovery.

Relationship building

Walley explains the importance of business travel for face-to-face relationship building with stakeholders: “Face-to-face relationship building with customers helps drive sales, while in-person interaction with employees helps increase employee engagement, retention and improves productivity.”

Many businesses in the past year have used video conferencing for meetings. While these types of meetings may improve efficiency, they are not ideal for all situations. “While virtual meetings have their place –and are effective for one-way presentations – where collaboration needs to take place to make business decisions, video meetings are far less effective,” says Mr. Walley.

In-person meetings allow businesses to “solve problems more effectively because they have the benefit of that human connection. In-person meetings also enable people to connect at an emotional level with stakeholders outside of the ‘clinical’ aspect of doing business.”

Benefits for SMEs

Business travel provides benefits for the business itself and other areas of Australia’s economy, particularly SMEs. “A typical business trip will include spending on transport, restaurants, and hotels.”

Corporate Traveller estimates approximately $25 billion is spent annually on business travel in Australia. Corporate Traveller estimates business travel to be around 40 per cent of what it was before the pandemic.

Feeling confident to travel

For the economy to fully recover, these numbers need to increase, which will only happen when businesses feel confident that travel is safe.

“Controls such as vaccinations, rapid testing, traveller tracking, and contact tracing, hotel hygiene, insurance offerings, and Government policy will be important contributors to giving businesses the confidence to return to travel. Australia has a large domestic business travel market, and we hope to see domestic travel bouncing back healthily within the next 12 months,” says Mr. Walley.

Travel management

While times are constantly changing, Walley notes the importance of an agile business travel management provider. “At Corporate Traveller, the biggest thing our customers crave right now is live and accurate travel information before and during their trip. Good technology can provide businesses with real-time travel and infection-control updates.”

“An expert team of travel managers can help businesses to navigate any challenging situations and provide solutions.”

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Georgia Hillier

Georgia Hillier

Georgia is a journalist at Dynamic Business specialising in sales and marketing. She is currently undertaking a double degree in Psychology and Law at university.

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