Meetings No 27
Intro
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.
Radar
Expedia Sells Egencia to American Express Global ­Business Travel
A deal that was perhaps unlikely just one year ago.
Challenges
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.
Intermission
To Boldly Go …
Don’t be afraid to boldly go where others haven’t. You may find yourself ending up right at home.
Opportunities
Becoming SMART: A Destinations’ Journey
This is a people-to-people business. Period.
Radar
The Impacts of the Pandemic on European Convention Bureaus
Survey of 134 convention bureaus in 33 European countries.
Kellerman
Endurance: The Primary Survival Tool
Roger Kellerman on persevering and rising as strong as ever before.
classifieds
news
111 Boing 777 and A380s
Emirates announces aircraft upgrades
and more A380 resumptions.
119 membercountries
Dubai wins bid
to host ICOM General conference 2025.
developing the government
Dubai Economy, Dubai Tourism merge
to become ‘Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism.
38 cities applied
Vilnius ranked 3rd
at the annual European Capital of Innovation Awards.
IBTM World
Event technology
trends to increase engagement and ROI.
big business
Booking Holdings Enters Into An Agreement
With CVC Capital Partners To Acquire Etraveli Group.
Focus on Impact
Union of International Associations
releases Survey on International Meetings Issues - 2021 Report.
9,000-plus members
GBTA Convention 2021
Sets The Pace For Business Travel’s Return.
17–20 July
Kigali, Rwanda to host Women Deliver 2023
WD2023 will be the world’s largest conference on gender equality in the 21st century.
Event
Canary Islands Hosts 6th Edition of the Repeople Conference, Europe’s Largest Remote Work Conference
The only event in Europe addressing remote work from a wide perspective.
Links
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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