Meetings No 27
Boost Your Brain with Face-to-Face Meetings
Atti Soenarso on new research regarding the human meeting.
Cover Story
Time to Show How Business Events Can Help Develop Societies Going Forward
PCMA’s CEO Sherrif Karamat wants to position the industry’s questions on future growth.
Psychological Meetings
On What Do We Build Our Knowledge and on What Do We Base Our Beliefs?
Hans Gordon on how enlightened and rational we really are.
Expedia Sells Egencia to American Express Global ­Business Travel
A deal that was perhaps unlikely just one year ago.
We Have an Extraordinary Journey Ahead of Us in This Industry
Denzil Rankine, AMR International on the here and now and the there and then.
To Boldly Go …
Don’t be afraid to boldly go where others haven’t. You may find yourself ending up right at home.
Becoming SMART: A Destinations’ Journey
This is a people-to-people business. Period.
The Impacts of the Pandemic on European Convention Bureaus
Survey of 134 convention bureaus in 33 European countries.
Endurance: The Primary Survival Tool
Roger Kellerman on persevering and rising as strong as ever before.
Fourth time winner
The CCD Dublin
has been recognised as Best Venue at the C&IT Awards.
new job
Christian Ortlepp
is new Head of Business Development & Innovation at MCH Venues.
Seoul MICE Business Day:
Strengthening the Local Ecosystem.
business intelligence
The attraction of meetings and events in Bogota
is strengthened with a new business unit at Invest in Bogota.
18 new films
Conference Leeds
invites organisers to experience exceptional with the launch of Explore Leeds campaign.
business intelligence
Be flexible, creative
and find new ways to facilitate networking says ABPCO survey.

IBTM World Barcelona reveals first details of in-person event
First exhibitors and Hosted Buyers confirmed.

Ain Dubai,
the worlds largest and tallest observation wheel set to open on 21 October.
7-11 November in Dubai
Cityscape Global 2021
at Dubai Exhibition Centre close to Expo 2020.
Clear health pass
IMEX announces
vaccine entry requirements for IMEX America.
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Business Travel Is Back to About 50 per Cent of Pre-Covid Levels, but Some Markets Are Stronger

There are reasons to be optimistic about the recovery of corporate travel following a prolonged coronavirus-related slowdown.

Business travel continues to lag the leisure recovery, but Hilton CEO Christopher Nassetta sees reasons for optimism. While overall it’s back to about 50 per cent pre-Covid levels, Nassetta told CNBC it’s more like 75 per cent in some markets.

“This is as good as I’ve felt since the pandemic started in terms of where we are and what I see in forward-looking trends and bookings in the business,” Christopher Nassetta said in an interview on Closing Bell.

Leisure travel has been propelling the industry’s recovery so far, and Christopher Nassetta said he expects to see record numbers in that category this summer. However, a return of business travellers is crucial for a complete rebound in the hospitality sector.

“Business travel, while it’s lagging, it’s coming back. It’s probably about half the levels that we saw at the prior peak. Group and events are lagging that, but they’re coming back.”

One particular reason to be hopeful is that the hotel operator is experiencing stronger corporate bookings in markets where the pandemic situation has improved.

“As businesses are starting to reopen offices and an expectation of in the fall kids going back to school, people start to travel for business again, and they start to congregate in meetings. If you look at markets even in the U.S. and certainly China where they’re further along, we already see business travel back to effectively 75 per cent of volume levels that we saw in 2019.”

Many companies plan to adopt more flexible work arrangements postpandemic. Given that change, there have been questions about how travelling for meetings and conferences fits into that hybrid-work equation. Some have suggested business travel will never fully recover.

Jamie Dimon has expressed dissatisfaction with remote work and videoconference meetings during the Wall Street Journal CEO Council event. The JP Morgan Chase chairman and CEO said he was “about to cancel” all his Zoom meetings.

“We want people back to work, and my view is that sometime in September–October it will look just like it did before.”

Jamie Dimon also said JP Morgan had lost business to competitors in some instances during the pandemic when rival bankers travelled for in-person meetings.

Companies that suffered financially during the pandemic will have to build up their travel budgets over time, Christopher Nassetta said. But in general, he feels there is a broad desire to cut back on virtual meetings and conferences.

“The anecdotal evidence, as I talk to our big customers and to friends who run businesses and the like, is that there’s a huge amount of pent-up demand to get out and travel for business and to get out for group meetings and events, just because it’s been so long since they’ve done it.”

Photo: Hilton Hotels