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  • The Current State of Business Travel

    Business travel has been put at a standstill since the pandemic started last year. Many corporations decided to put their travel plans on hold and instead conduct business virtually. Fortunately, this seems to be changing as more and more people across the globe get vaccinated. Companies are ready to get back out there and send their employees on business trips once again. So, what exactly is the current state of business travel, and what can you expect when going on a business trip? Here’s what you need to know:

    How Did the Pandemic Affect Business Travel?

    Business travel took a huge hit when the pandemic began. International borders were closed, and traveling nationally came to a near halt. This meant that most business had to be conducted virtually rather than in person. Companies were hosting conferences virtually and holding meetings using video conferencing software such as Zoom. People were having to get creative when it came to running their businesses from a distance.

    When Will Business Travel Pick Back Up?

    Businessmen and businesswomen are ready to travel once again. This can be seen in a survey conducted by SAP Concur that found that a staggering 96% of global business travelers are willing to travel for business during the next 12 months, and 80% worry that their professional lives will take a hit unless business travel increases within the next year.

    So, even though we may not know precisely how fast business travel will pick back up, companies and their employees are pretty eager to get back out there.

    Do I Need to Have the Covid-19 Vaccine Before Traveling?

    If you plan to travel abroad for business travel, you’re going to need to check if the country you’re traveling to requires that you have received the coronavirus vaccine. Though many countries are beginning to reopen or have already reopened to Americans, there are still rules and restrictions for most of these destinations. As of June 23, 2021, the following countries are allowing fully vaccinated Americans entry:

    • Anguilla
    • Bahamas
    • Barbados
    • Belize
    • Bermuda
    • The British Virgin Islands
    • Bulgaria
    • Croatia
    • Cyprus
    • Denmark
    • Ecuador
    • Estonia
    • France
    • French Polynesia
    • Republic of Georgia
    • Greece
    • Grenada
    • Guatemala
    • Iceland
    • Israel
    • Lebanon
    • Montenegro
    • Nepal
    • Seychelles

    How Will Airlines be Affected?

    Air travel was one of the industries that took a significant hit from the coronavirus pandemic. People weren’t traveling for business or leisure, which led to major airlines severely struggling in 2020. According to CNBC, U.S. airline carriers lost a whopping $35 billion last year. Though 2020 was an extremely tough year for the airline industry, it seems that things are starting to look up.

    Nearly 2 million passengers took to the skies each day across the United States in recent weeks, and more and more businesses are already making plans to resume business travel both domestically and internationally. In a Global Business Travel Association study, 40% of companies have already resumed domestic business travel, 8% have decided on a date, and 25% are working on a date. The study also found that 12% of companies said they have already resumed international business travel, 5% have decided on a date, and 23% are working on a date.

    What Can I Do to Stay Safe When Going on a Business Trip?

    If you do have plans to go on a business trip in the near future, you’re going to want to do everything you can to stay safe and healthy. Some things that you can do while away to stay safe include washing your hands frequently, wiping down any commonly used items with sanitizing wipes, and most importantly, be respectful of those around you. We all must come together to continue making progress in the right direction when it comes to the coronavirus.

    Where Can I Obtain a Visa or Passport For My Business Trip?

    If you plan on going on a business trip and need to obtain a visa or passport, we may be able to help! Swift is currently able to assist with adult passport renewals and can process visas for select countries. Please contact us before sending in documentation for visas, as requirements and restrictions change frequently. For support with child, lost, or first-time passports, please visit travel.state.gov for further instruction.

    If you have any questions about obtaining a passport or visa for your upcoming business trip, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are so excited for the resurgence of business travel and look forward to helping you get to your destination!

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