Welcome to the new world of business travel

The COVID-19 pandemic crushed the business travel industry, hammering trade shows, hotels, airlines, and other services. As video meetings went mainstream, the industry’s loss was Zoom’s gain.

But now, restrictions are being lifted. As a result, business travel is coming back.

Travel management company TripActions says business travel bookings for the first quarter of this year exceeded all bookings for the entire previous year.

Unsurprisingly, the “return” of business travel, in fact, is less of a return and more of a new world of trends.

For example, TripActions says more than one-third of business travelers are now booking longer “bleisure” trips, combining business with leisure. Some business travel will be workcations. Other trips will be remote workers visiting the office.

Despite the changes, some companies are still sending employees and executives on good old-fashioned business trips.

A recent Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) poll found that three-quarters of respondents’ companies (74%) now allow international travel, up 48% in February.

The only difference is the price.