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COVID 19 & Business: The dilemma facing Business Travellers during the Corona virus pandemic

The corporate world across the globe is rethinking business trips due to the global impact of COVID-19. Since the spread of the corona virus, many industries have been affected heavily.

Amongst the most hit is the travel industry, it has had the greatest setback ever. Non-essential business and leisure travel is being restricted around the world as a result of the virus.

In weeks to come, most corporate will not be attending to their long-planned business meetings, conferences or trade shows. Major Corporate events, festive season and sports have been postponed or cancelled.

Employees and other stakeholders are working from home and holding their meetings through video conferencing applications like Hangout, Zoom or Skype; instead of meeting in person.

Below are the 4-dilemma facing corporate travel industry during the corona virus pandemic!

Governments Restrictions

In recent weeks, we have experienced an increase in reported cases of COVID 19 in every continent, this has posed a challenge to health systems and governments in many countries and territories.

Nations across the globe have imposed travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Governments have introduced strict measures relating to all people coming in the country, this includes tourists, returning residents, students, and business travel.

Citizens has been placed under national lockdown, restricting freedom of movement and other rights.

For example, the European Union instituted a 30-day ban on nonessential travel to at least 26 European countries from the rest of the world. African countries like Kenya suspended all international flights in and out of the country.

These governments’ restrictions are significantly impacting businesses and the economy. This is likely to produce distressed situations to the corporate world.

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Businesses are rapidly adjusting to the changing needs of their employees, clients and other business stakeholders while traversing the operational and financial challenges.

Government restrictions continue to decimate passenger demand and force potential travellers to postponed or cancel trips for the foreseeable future.

Most Corporate organisations are continually monitoring public information from the governments and international organisations like Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organisation that they can communicate timely updates to their employees.

Air Travel & Accommodation

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on aviation and hospitality industries. Countries and territories border closures has resulted in travel restrictions as well as flop in demand among travellers.

Experts estimate that across the globe, about half of the planes in the world are currently grounded due to COVID-19. This has led to almost-empty airspace, with fewer than 50 planes in the skies at any one time.

For example, in recent weeks, Emirates and Etihad have grounded all their carriers. Emirates parked their aircraft at Dubai International Airport and also nearby Al Maktoum Airport.

The hospitality and travel sector has never experienced anything like this shut-down

The hospitality industry is facing an unexpected and unusual drop in hotel demand. Week by week, the flopping of customers in hotel industry is gaining pace and getting progressively deeper and more severe.

Airport closures, the suspension of all incoming and outgoing flights, and nationwide lockdowns are just some of the measure’s countries are adopting in an effort to help contain the pandemic.

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Significant Financial Hardship

Corporations have cancelled their business trips, especially those in the financial middle and lower classes who have experienced financial pain because of the pandemic and resulting near-shut down of economies.

Most industries and small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus outbreak, this has led to some corporations to experience significant financial hardship.

The occurrence has strain business’s financial capacity, its now becoming very difficult for businesses to make payroll, maintain inventory and respond to market fluctuations.

As a result, they won’t be able to afford to sustain their business travel as much. consequently, they will spend less, maybe even nothing on business trips over the next few years.

Health safety

Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of their citizens. Business and corporations are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.

In recent weeks, Business travellers are only travelling to places where they are safe in terms of health-related risks. They are less persuaded by distance and perceptions of where their business needs take them.

Many people are very couscous about movement from one country to another. Corporate are advising their employee to stay at home and taking some simple precautions in order to reduce the chances of being infected or spreading the coronavirus.

To reduce infections and spread of COVID 19, the Governments and Airline regulatory agencies are making it mandatory for airline companies to provide cleaner planes.

After every trip it is assumed that the passengers may have contaminated plane surfaces and, this may pose a healthy risk for others who will follow after them.

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It’s now becoming mandatory for airlines to clean and disinfect their aircraft and ground facilities regularly in order to prevent the spread and infections of the virus.

Also, Airlines will have to significantly rethink and restructure how they sell and serve food and drinks in flight.

carriers will need to provide food and beverages in a way to reduce the risk of transference of disease, some airlines are encouraging their Customers to bring their own food and beverages on board. Hotels and accommodation also face the same problems.

 

Key takeaway

some amount of business travellers who used to travel before the corona virus will never be travelling again because, the companies paying for that travel will disappear.

In addition to business travellers who will disappear because of business failures, companies and business people are learning during this period of severe travel restrictions.

 At some point, business travel can, in fact, be replaced by technology like video and audio internet calls.

A lot of businesses are learning right now that they really can get more done, and do so at much lower cost, via teleconferencing than they previously believed.

To some business, sales and other kinds of business trips probably will remain necessary and continue to be big revenue drivers for travel companies.

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