Technology Replacing Business Travel?

April 24 2012 by Chris McGinnis
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iStock_000018280274XSmall.jpgIs web-based technology such as video conferencing replacing business travel?

Well, you would have thought so in the deepest, darkest days of the recent "great recession." Remember the media frenzy surrounding business travel boondoggles and the so-called "AIG effect" when many observers predicted the demise of business travel as we knew it?

Not so fast. According to recent data from consulting firm PhoCusWright, the end is not near. In fact, video conferencing is now seen as a communications tool that complements rather than replaces business travel.

In a February 2012 PhoCusWright survey of 2,053 business travelers in the US, 55% of respondents said that technology has had very little or no impact on the need to travel for business. 30% of respondents said it would "somewhat" impact the need for business travel. But only 15% said that the impact is substantial or dramatic.

Among those who did say web-based communication technology has had an impact in recent years, most pointed to internal training or conferences as the trips most likely to be affected. Not surprisingly, far fewer said that these technologies decreased trips that involve sales/client relations or consulting.

Have YOUR business travel routines been changed or replaced due to new web-based communications technology? Please leave your comments below.

Chris McGinnis is Best Western's travel trends expert and business travel blogger on

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