There is a lot of talk about HOW travel is going to change post pandemic. One segment of travel that has taken a significant hit is business travel.
For the month of April, one travel organization estimated that 92% of its members weren’t traveling domestically. And that number climbed to 98% internationally. Leisure travel, especially those destinations that are easily accessed by car, are the bright spot of the travel industry. Some hotels in beach destinations reported record occupancy for the months of July and August because of the strong desire people had to go somewhere, just not somewhere too far.
One segment that industry experts fear could be permanently altered is the bleisure travel segment. This is business travel with a leisure trip tacked on to the beginning or the end of a work-related trip. Bleisure travel was embraced, in particular, by millennials largely as a result of the cost savings benefit. If work is taking you to London it’s the perfect opportunity to add on a few days for personal travel. Better yet, take your best friend or significant other and now they don’t need to pay for accommodations.
But with business travel on pause indefinitely the bleisure segment has also been decimated. The return of business travel will, in part, depend on the availability of a vaccine or therapeutics that help companies ensure the safety of their employees. And sending them overseas could take even longer. Until then, hotels will need to continue to find creative ways to meet the changing needs of travelers as they too navigate a post-COVID world.