Travel more to work better!

2018 was a great year for business travel and tourism in general. Business travel has grown strongly with “15 of the top 20 business travel markets in the world experiencing above-average growth in 2017, for the first time in five years. In Western Europe, business travellers generated spending of $310 billion, which represents an increase of 3.9% for France, compared to 2016”. (See our article on Global business travel forecast 2019). We are observing the same trend in the tourism sector, where growth is two years ahead of expectations. Indeed, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reports that 1.4 billion people travelled to a foreign country last year, spending at least one night there. This figure represents a year-on-year growth of 6%, representing the second-best increase since 2010 and well above the global economic growth of 3.7%. The UNWTO had forecast that this threshold would only be reached in 2020.

Obviously, this increase also has an effect on air traffic which, with 4.3 billion passengers, increased by 6.1% compared to 2017 according to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Not to mention the airlines’ excellent figures, which generated operating results of around 57 billion US dollars (€49.6 billion) and an operating margin of 7% of revenue in 2018. American Airlines, Alaska Air, JetBlue and Southwest, four of the market leaders in the United States, reported better than expected results for the fourth quarter of 2018. If we add the fact that travel is now facilitated by AI, thus revolutionising travellers’ experiences before and after the trip (travel preparation, voice assistants making it possible to be understood instantly in any language, expense report management, etc.), then everything is going well in the travel sector.

However, what we appreciate most at Traveldoo is that these trips strengthen social ties and, for business trips, also contribute to well-being at work. By increasing team cohesion, business travel – and not just seminars – is much more of an investment than a cost. Business travel is no longer just a work tool but the art of living and working, a way of giving meaning to everyday life and a great experience to employees.  At a tense time within the labour market, this is good news for companies that allow their employees to travel!

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