In an increasingly digital age, many are questioning the future of business travel. What will it look like in the post-pandemic era? As the world reopens, one thing is certain – in-person meetings are essential for doing business. Much research been done into the importance of corporate travel as of late; most recently by the London School of Economics, which has shown that the more a team operates virtually, the less effective it is overall. Add to that screen-fatigue and the undeniable fact that there’s no replacement for physical presence when it comes to relationship-building, and it’s apparent to me that business travel isn’t going anywhere.
Over the past month, I’ve been doing my part to help reignite the sector. In April, I was in California for the Destinations International CEO Summit, which gave me the opportunity to hear about the priorities that our neighbors to the south are facing. Not surprisingly, you’ll find some common themes: remote work policies; diversity, equity and inclusion; and rebuilding consumer confidence.
Then, I was off to Manila for the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit, where I was honoured to represent Canada in many discussions around what its going to take to recover the tourism industry with my counterparts from around the world. Our shared priorities (we are not alone!) included the labour shortage, harmonizing travel processes and documentation, sustainable tourism, financing the recovery, and women’s leadership. And just this week, I was pleased to present at the Global Business Tourism Alliance Canadian Conference on the value of continued collaboration as we all work toward bringing back business travel and events.
We’ve heard many say that Canada’s economy won’t be fully recovered until the tourism industry has recovered. While there’s no telling what tomorrow may bring, the signs so far this spring have been positive. With warmer days ahead, I know we are all looking forward to welcoming the world back to Canada!
President & CEO
Tourism Industry Association of Canada