Technology will shape not only the travel booking process but the way people travel on business in the future, a new report predicts.
Virtual technology will erode the presumption that face-to-face contact is essential to do business, it argues, while faster journey times, driverless cars and other innovations will increase employee productivity.
The forecast comes in a white paper from AirPlus which looks at what factors that may impact business travel over the next 50 years.
The role of travel management will change completely as holographic meetings and virtual hotel rooms become reality.
Demand for business travel is set to grow over the coming decades, although the dividing lines between modes of travel will become increasingly blurred as transport systems become more integrated.
But climate change will increase travel regulation unless travellers choose greener options.
Shifts in economic power, especially when related to the Bric countries, will drive international travel to and from these nations.
Continuing expansion of the global population and workforce will breed a new generation of cities, and work-life balance will be redefined.
AirPlus UK managing director Yael Klein said: “Looking into the future of business travel is tough, as so many factors influence the industry.
“An ongoing tug of war will inevitably occur between cultural changes in the way people will want to live their lives, economic developments of those nations that will emerge as more powerful than the west and environmental factors which will urge the population to think ever more about the effect their actions have on the planet’s well-being.
“This paper is by no means a definitive outlook on what the world will look like in 50 years – that’s anyone’s guess – but we intend to outline some of the key trends and possible scenarios that may emerge and could have a significant impact on the way travel management is conducted.”