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Travelling the World Part 4 - Business Travel Declining

 article about Travelling the World Part 4 - Business Travel Declining

This article belongs to Travelwise column.

This article belongs to Travelling the world theme.

While most countries might be in recession right now, there is still a fair amount of business travel actually taking place.

When we look at both the leisure/holiday and business travel markets, we can come to the conclusion that the two markets are totally different both in terms of focus as well as outcome.

At the upper more expensive end of the market one may find that most of the travel is either done in private aircraft while most of the ground based travel is done in hire/company/government vehicles.

The fitting out of the aircraft is often totally different to standard issue airliners with corporate layouts, comfortable surroundings and even sleeping quarters often having been fitted into an aircraft and the levels of comfort ranging vastly depending on the size of the aircraft.

Aircraft used range from smaller prop aircraft such the Dornier 328 to large aircraft such as Boeing 737s, 777s as well as Airbus A319s and A340s.

Given the state of the various economies, there may well be a decline in such aircraft usage.

Ground travel is often done in luxury cars while hotel accommodation is mostly conducted in the luxurious establishments.

In terms of ground travel and accommodation, there may also be a decline in numbers.

A level down, there is the business class market. First-class and Business-class seating arrangements on airlines are common although in places such as Europe, the much better option would be business class train travel on high-speed trains such as Eurostar and TGV.

The time difference between air and train travel is becoming smaller as airports become more congested while trains are getting faster. Fast trains in Europe are very comfortable and food services are mostly available.

In the business area the accommodation is mostly in good quality hotels while ground travel is mostly conducted in hire cars or taxis.

Trains are often not an option in countries where reasonably fast trains are not available, such as in Australia.

The changes that we will see during the next few years or so could well be major.
There will be a decline in flying hours in business aircraft with the surplus of these aircraft either being mothballed or being converter to freighters.

There will be a trickle-down effect of both business and first-class air travel and there may well be a decline in flying hours by business people.

Trains may be a winner in the current environment with an increasing number of business people travelling on trains instead of by air especially throughout Europe.

In other countries, such as Australia, the amount of business travel will simply decline as there are no viable alternatives other than air travel. In such cases, companies will simply use conference facilities and services.

So, there it is. There will be an overall decline in business travel as people and companies will look or have to look at cheaper and more cost-effective alternatives.

Our next issue will begin to look at some of the best train trips that are available around the world.

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