How Did The Pandemic Affect International Business Travel?

How Did The Pandemic Affect International Business Travel?

How Did The Pandemic Affect International Business Travel?

The travel industry took a huge hit from the pandemic – particularly international business travel.

Countries across the globe went into lockdown, and flights were grounded. We couldn’t fly abroad to conferences or important meetings. Everything had to happen over video-conferencing tools, and it wasn’t always ideal.  

The pandemic had a transformative effect on the business industry. Many people started working from home and setting up side hustles. The pandemic made us question our careers and priorities. Some people ventured into an entirely new industry, while others worked on their work-life balance. The business industry is likely to undergo further changes as we approach the post-pandemic era. 

Are in-Person Meetings Still Important?


The travel industry is finally operating again, and business travel can resume (to some extent.) Research from VistaJet, a private jet transportation company, found that 81% of respondents say business travel is more important than ever for success. Furthermore, 60% of those who take over eight private jets a year plan to increase in-person meetings.  

It seems in-person meetings will be back before we know it. It’s much easier to build a rapport and relationship with your client in a face to face meeting. You can address important topics and make significant strides towards the success of your business.

The Lack of Face-to-Face Meetings Took a Toll 

Video conferencing can only get you so far. VistaJet found that international business development and product launches took a hit from the lack of in-person meetings. There were massive disruptions across the business industry, and many companies struggled to move forward. 

Video meetings were incredibly useful in the pandemic. Many companies saved money on travel and reduced their carbon emissions. With the current climate emergency, there is a much greater demand for eco-friendly practices across the industry. 

Will International Business Travel Return?


Business travel returned after 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis. Both events took an enormous toll on the travel industry – but neither compares to the effect of the pandemic. In fact, the GBTA estimates the pandemic’s impact has been almost ten times as severe as those incidents. There are also far more substitutes available now with the recent advancements in technology. We can connect with people across the globe, share PowerPoint slides, interact online and speak face to face. Technology allows businesses to save billions on travel and still reach their customers. 

So, Where Does That Leave Us?

There is still a time and a place for international business travel. You will probably need to travel for big meetings – like a business merger or large product launch. You can explore a different country and spend time with a new team. There are numerous benefits to business travel. 

Make business travel a part of your 2022 career plan.

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Nitish Mathur

Digital Marketing Expert

Nitish is the CEO of 3Cans. A food blogger turned Growth Marketer, with a knack for tongue-in-cheek content and co-author of "The Growth Hacking Book 1 & 2", he helps companies hone their brands through everything digital. 

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