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Business Travel Doubles From April Lows as Economies Rebound

Business trips are increasing again after the Corona pandemic. Since mid-April, travel has doubled but is still well below last year’s level, according to travel data from employee safety software company Safeture, which analyzed data from more than 140,000 international business travelers.

Safeture, based in Lund, Sweden, has reviewed 140,000 of its customers’ business trips during the spring and looked at how many kilometers a business trip was before the pandemic and during the most serious period when restrictions were at their peak. The data were taken from Safeture’s cloud-based software security platform where all customers’ actual travel patterns can be followed using both bookings and positioning via mobile phones.

Business travel increased sharply just before the rigid restrictions were imposed. One explanation may be that many companies brought their employees home ahead of the upcoming travel ban, but also companies rushed to complete ongoing projects, leading to a spike in trips.

When the pandemic struck and country after country began to apply strict restrictions, almost all travel came to a grinding stop, even for businesses who often depend on personal meetings for education or sales. In just 10 days, between March 13 and 23, two out of three trips were canceled, bottoming out on April 6 when global travel was only a mere 10 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.

It was mainly the stop in international flights that dramatically restricted how far an employee traveled on average, but now the trend towards longer journeys once again happening is very clear.

Even before the major countries around the world loosened their restrictions, the number of kilometers per business trip doubled and, as further easing and air routes are restarted, there is likely to be a very rapid increase in travel length, despite much of the world entering the summer holiday season.

As we start planning our next trip, it is important to keep track of what restrictions still apply to avoid any unpleasant surprises. On our site openupforbusiness.com you will find continuously updated information for all countries in the world.

“The past months have been tough for everybody, and we have to expect a difficult year where all travel will be closely considered,” said Magnus Hultman, CEO of Safeture. “In a way, all countries will have to be considered high-risk countries, which will require companies, organizations and authorities to take responsibility for who books what and where in cooperation with security platforms, travel companies and company security officers, travel managers and HR managers.”

At the same time, it is already important for travel companies, hotels and conference facilities to  prepare for the massive increase of business travelers when all of the deferred meetings and events rescheduled.

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