Are Remote Workers the New Business Travelers?

Business travel is the only travel “niche” that hasn’t reached pre-pandemic levels. At least, that’s what multiple reports from aviation industry insiders indicate. Looking closely at the data, though, it could be that people mix work with pleasure now. All of this is thanks to remote work. Technically speaking, remote workers who continue to put in their hours as usual while away from home aren’t business travelers since they’re not going to a place to meet colleagues or business partners. However, airlines and many destinations that rely heavily on tourism are happy that remote workers are picking up the slack.

According to the Spring Global Rescue Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey, about 59% of those polled mentioned that being part of a hybrid or remote workplace that allowed them to travel more was encouraging. In a sense, both business travel and making trips for pleasure are merging. That’s shown by another part of the survey, in which 30% of responders mentioned that they travel for work. Currently, 7 out of 10 had a work arrangement that included some type of remote work accommodation.

Experts in the field say travel is now not only divided between work and pleasure. People can easily catch a plane to meet up with business partners or even family members while they continue working as usual from their temporary location. That assessment will likely continue to prove to be true as long as people are able to work efficiently, even if they’re sipping margaritas on a beach. This idea, though, scares certain companies, particularly those in the finance sector. It does bring up a big concern. How engaged are people in their activities while working remotely? Particularly if they are working from a booming tourist destination.

There’s another issue on the horizon that could affect travelers who travel for both work and pleasure. Business travel is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024. Projections suggest that it can continue to grow, surpassing 2019 numbers potentially as early as 2026. While this is great news for the travel industry, it may not be as positive for travelers themselves.

If both business travelers and remote workers are headed to the same destinations, hotel prices could be on the rise. The same goes for airfare and overall expenses while on the trip. Increased travel expenses are not the only issue that people in general are going to have to contend with. Certain destinations will lack an off-season. That’s something that’s been seen in popular destinations like Cancun. While again, this may seem like great news for the local economy, many of these popular spots use the off-season to upgrade their facilities and give their staff vacation days. The lack of an off-season could lead to fewer new experiences at popular destinations, as well as more difficulty dealing with overall wear and tear within these facilities. In short, remote work has certainly opened new doors for people to explore. However, this could put quite a strain on the travel industry in general.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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