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Back to the Future: What is in Store for Business Tourism in a New Decade?



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Experts of the Aeroclub business tourism agency analyzed results of a survey conducted as part of a gala night on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the company. The participants were more than 500 industry professionals, among whom there were corporate clients, agency employees, members of air companies, hotels, global distribution systems, and independent experts.

The survey showed that almost half of respondents (47%) consider business trips to be still important for business: neither video conferences (chosen by 15% respondents) nor 3D holograms (20%) will manage to replace personal presence at negotiations.

As for the question what transport will deliver business travellers to business trips, 38% respondents to the survey answered that future belongs to teleporters while 34% experts believe that supersonic airplanes will be in wide use. Respondents left habitual means of transport behind: only 9% respondents chose trains while 12% expect car sharing not to lose its relevance. 39% and 32% respondents to the survey see the prospect for flying drone-taxis and driverless electric cars respectively.

Nevertheless, business travellers remain conservative about comfortable accommodation—almost 40% respondents chose hotels as major means of accommodation while 19% believe that in future the principles of sharing economy will gain even a stronger foothold along with such services as Airbnb. However, 22% respondents believe that staying in a different city will not be needed at all in a new era of high technologies and instant transportation, as one can go on a business trip in one day.

As for leisure, 30% travel industry experts bet on personal recommendations in a mobile app. At the same time, 25% respondents believe that business travellers will go by the corporate recommendation service while 20% respondents think that in future secondees will advise with a voice assistant.

As the survey showed, half of the experts (45%) rosily believe that in the nearest future we may be in for an explosive development of cosmic business tourism.

A significant result was that 63% respondents are sure of the following: despite of extensive robotic automation, business trips of the future will not be possible without human participation; out of them, 31% rely on a talk to agency consultants in challenging situations and 32% on a call of a travel manager.

It is worth noting that from 16% to 25% respondents would steadily choose possible answers related to the disappearance of ‘human’ business trips: this answer line meant that in future all business processes will rest in robotic hands and people will relax in Bali instead of work.

‘Our survey, saved to a plastic diskette from the 90s, was a joke, sort of a time capsule that moved us from the past to the future. 15-20 years will pass, and time will tell how brave or true our forecasts were. Nonetheless, all jokes stem from truth, and our survey revealed several tendencies, the basis for which are already laid and which will only gain speed in future—these are a trend for trip customization, a significant role of artificial intelligence and, along with that, a desire to retain human participation’, told Yulia Lipatova, General Director of Aeroclub, business tourism agency.


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About the Author

Head of Digital, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Agency Blog

Author Yulia Vasilyeva

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