I have always enjoyed travel and have visited quite a few nations and cities in my life. Not only that, but I have also myself been involved in the travel business and so it is close to my heart.
A vast majority of my travels have been for work and this is possibly reflective of most travel undertaken. A vacation is taken once or twice a year at most.
Thousands of flights are taken every day just to conduct meetings that last a few hours. With the restriction that is now being placed upon people, there is a need to avoid this travel and undertake the meeting over phone call / Online / Telepresence etc. This has meant that those who were probably, not incapable, but apprehensive of conducting meetings online are now being forced to do the same. I think a whole host of people are going to discover the comfort of online calls as well as economic gains of doing the same. It avoids the time and cost of the commute. It also ensures that you can optimise the way your time is utilised. Where you would have had one really important meeting in a day for which you travelled all the way to another city, you could instead have several.
Travel Industry need to ponder
How many people would get back to the old ways once things get normalised? Would business travel come back to the same level? What would this mean for the travel business?
I feel that for better or for worse, travel business would need to re-align itself to this new normal. It is good for the environment as well if people travel a lot less. It puts a lesser strain on the resources needed as well. But can it have other effects as well?
- How many planes would get sold in the next 5 years?
- What effect will this have on car sales in the coming years?
- What does it mean for services like Uber which transport people from place to place?
These are some of the thoughts that come to mind when I think about the pain the travel industry is undergoing right now. What is it going to mean for the long term?