EXCLUSIVE: “Business travel will take longer to recover after Covid-19” hotel experts warn


Business travel will struggle to bounce back after the lockdown period ends and travel restrictions are lifted, according to hotel experts from the likes of Ennismore, Corinthia Hotels and Colliers International.

Speaking at a roundtable session titled The Post Corona-Era, during Hospitality Tomorrow, an online conference organised by Bench Events, Paul Pisani, senior vice president of hotel development, Corinthia Hotels said that corporate travel will undoubtedly take longer to recover from the impact of Covid-19, as companies still in recovery look to do business as ‘cost effectively as possible’.

Roger Bootle, chairman of Capital Economics who was speaking at another session agreed, adding that during this period, people are finding new ways of working, ultilising video conversations to conduct meetings.

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Executive vice president & chief development officer of the Radisson Hotel Group, Elie Younes said the lockdown period will ‘accelerate the use of AI’ and companies will learn to manage businesses in a ‘leaner way’.

It was better news for the leisure sector however, with the panel expecting business to come back a lot quicker. “People will have an innate need to get away,” said Pisani.

Thomas Page, global head of hotel & leisure group, CMS, said: “Those hotels with a strong domestic market base will bounce back quicker. There will be a change in global travel restrictions initially which will have an impact on international travel; there may things like testing on people coming in and out of countries. Remote resorts may take longer to recover as a result.”

The complete panel was hosted by Dirk Bakker, CEO, Netherlands & head of hotels EMEA at Colliers International and also comprised Keith Evans, chief investment & development officer at Ennismore.

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Zoe Monk

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