As Covid restrictions and quarantines continue to lift around the world, work-related trips are bouncing back in a big way in 2022.
NB: This is an article from the BBC
While all travel took a tumble during the pandemic, international business travel, in particular, was hit hard, as video calls and conferencing quickly took the place of on-site visits and in-person client meetings. But as the world learns to live with the virus, work-related trips have come bouncing back in a big way in 2022.
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In fact, according to travel management company TripActions, business travel bookings for the first three months of 2022 alone surpassed more than half of all bookings for 2021, with an 875% increase from March 2021 to March 2022. Because of the newfound acceptance of remote work, business travellers are also booking longer “bleisure” stays, combining business trips with extra days for fun. More than a third of business travellers are booking longer (four- to seven-day) stays, a boost of three percentage points from last year.
As Covid restrictions and quarantines continue to lift around the world, certain places are seeing the biggest boom in this type of travel. We selected five countries that are seeing impressive rebounds across different international regions, based on the number of international business travel bookings (which include flight, hotel, rail and black car bookings) within the TripActions platform, and spoke to residents to find out how business travel is changing and how to have a more sustainable work-play stay.
With the most business bookings in Europe this year, according to TripActions data, the UK serves as a hub for international trade. In-person meetings remain an important piece of that culture.
“Many global companies have their headquarters in London,” said Ioanna Karelia, founder of online business Be Your Maverick. “Conducting business in person is often necessary to establish trust and close deals.” The UK lifted the last of its travel Covid restrictions (including arrival tests and passenger locator forms) in mid-March, and the bounce in business travel has already been evident.
“Business travellers have begun to pour in from all corners of the globe,” said Harrison Sharrett, marketing manager of office rental company Prime Office Space. We’re seeing renewed demand for coworking spaces and other types of flexible spaces that are conducive to short-term stays.”
To offset some of the carbon costs of international commuting, business travellers can look to stay in hotels with sustainability practices, like One Aldwych in London’s Covent Garden, which earned Green Tourism Business Scheme’s gold accreditation, thanks to its sustainable food sourcing, on-site compost programme and biodegradable amenity packaging. Or try the city’s Good Hotel: it not only donates its profits to social causes around the world, but the building itself was repurposed from a derelict floating hotel from the Netherlands.
While the majority of Covid restrictions have been lifted, each country (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) has its own remaining rules that travellers should check before departing.