Business Travel Helps Organizations Gain a Competitive Advantage


Fri, March 25, 2022 9:55 AM

SDSU analysis highlights increased productivity, organizational strength and collaboration over virtual

An analysis conducted by the San Diego State University School of Hospitality & Tourism Management on behalf of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) found that business travel and in-person meetings have clear advantages over options virtual, and that companies and organizations that resume business travel and meetings faster are likely to have a competitive advantage over those that do not.

In the analysis, the founder and director of the L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality & Tourism Management at San Diego State University, Carl Winston, and Dr. Lisa Cain, associate professor at Florida International University Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, also write that business travel and in-person meetings facilitate productivity, strengthen organization, and foster collaboration in ways that virtual interactions cannot.

Other key findings from the analysis include:

√ COVID-19 has created an increased need for face-to-face connection that virtual-only meetings simply cannot satisfy.

√ The increased use of virtual meetings is negatively impacting workplace culture and team building, while hurting productivity.

√ Among millennials, the largest population in the workforce, 80% say they prefer face-to-face communication with colleagues, suggesting a potential advantage in recruitment, retention and customer relations for businesses who foster face-to-face relationships with colleagues and clients.

AHLA said: “The analysis comes as sentiment around business travel evolves. A recent survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of AHLA found that nearly two-thirds of workers and 77% of business travelers agree that with increased screen time through virtual work arrangements and hybrids, bringing back in-person experiences such as business travel and conferences is more important than ever.

Winston said, “Whether organizations are looking to increase productivity, organizational strength or collaboration, they will be better able to achieve these goals through business travel and in-person meetings. And as America transitions from pandemic-era virtual settings to a “new normal,” companies and organizations that resume business travel and meetings more quickly can gain a competitive edge over those that don’t. not.

Cain said, “There is a time and a place to use virtual meeting platforms, but the business travel and face-to-face meetings they facilitate generate more positive outcomes for individuals, organizations, customers and clients in a way that may be simply irreplaceable. ”

AHLA President and CEO Chip Rogers said: “There is no substitute for reality, and after the past two years of virtual work arrangements and travel restrictions, it is time for businesses, employees and customers to enjoy the unparalleled value of business travel. and face-to-face meetings provide.

AHLA said: “With corporate travel policies still evolving, business and group travel – the hospitality industry’s biggest revenue earner – will take much longer to recover than business travel. ‘approval. According to AHLA’s State of the Industry report, business travel is expected to increase overall in 2022 compared to last year and, according to analysis by Kalibri Labs, in the third quarter it is expected to reach 80 % of 2019 figures. While a full recovery is not expected before 2024, global business travel is expected to increase by 14% in 2022.”

Read the analysis here.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the only national association representing all segments of the American lodging industry. Based in Washington, DC, AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support, and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. Learn more at


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