Travel management companies predict less demand and higher prices for business travel in the post-Covid 19 world but benefits for the environment.

Members of Advantage Business Travel’s TMC strategy group warned of a very different world for the business travel sector once the coronavirus pandemic is over.

Speaking on the consortium’s daily YouTube broadcast, Sonia Michaels, head of business travel services and events at Advantage said there were likely to be permanent changes for the sector.

She said: “It’s important we take time to look at the opportunities that exist.”

Frank Deluca, regional director EMEA ,Omega World Travel, forecast: “In my mind it will be a world with less demand, supply and higher prices, and a world where people are questioning certain types of corporate travel and could potentially travel less as a choice. I would like business travel to be seen as a force for good, creating jobs and global communities and offering unbiased expertise.”

Jodie Edwards-Locke, UK managing director, TAG, believes the environment will benefit after the crisis is over.

She said: “We can all agree that one of the good things to come out of this is the impact on the environment. I hope that as our travellers begin to travel again we get back to what we love doing, physically meeting people, but while doing so being as mindful as we can about the impact to the environment and even more so on the impact to travellers’ well-being.”

James Beagrie, managing director, Meon Valley Travel, agreed travellers could be more conscientious and more sensitive about their health and that of the planet, but warned companies would need to adjust.

He said: “Businesses will need to press the reset button and re-engage with their clients and suppliers. Not travelling could be the new normal.”

Bex Deadman, managing director, Blue Cube Travel, said advice from TMCs could become more important to business travellers.

She added: “I really hope for a united travel industry that is service-orientated and driven, and puts the client at the centre of everything they do.”